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Rosen Pledges Continued Freeholder Fight

Democrat candidate for Freeholder says 2012 campaign already begun

The dust from this year's election has settled. Or has it?

Democrat challenger Michele Rosen's bid for longtime Freeholder Joseph Vicari's seat was unsuccessful, but after the results came in Tuesday, she pledged to be back for 2012.

"Next year's campaign starts now," Rosen said at the county Democrats' party at The Tuscan House in Toms River. In 2012, Freeholders John Bartlett's and Gerry Little's respective terms expire.

easily fended off Rosen's challenge by capturing more than 65 percent of the vote, with 67,880 votes to Rosen's 35,961 tallies.

Rosen regularly attended Freeholder and county Board of Health meetings, and during public comment sessions would raise questions on spending and contracts, with officials pointing out the questions came during a campaign season.

Among them: contracts between the county, the , and Specialty Systems of Toms River for computer consulting services. and the county have paid the firm $3 million over the last four years, while the county has its own information technology department at a cost of $3 million, she charged. She took issue with the lack of transparency in the , which lead to a more detailed outline of projects itemized in the board's annual budget.

"I addressed good issues and some voters agree," Rosen said. "I have been stopped around town by people who recgonized me and wanted to wish me well."

Vicari was applauded for handily winning the race at the Republican celebration at the Holiday Inn in Toms River as results came in. He, too, said he'll be around awhile. Vicari won his 11th three-year term as a freeholder Tuesday.

"Our best days are yet to come," Vicari said. "Next year at this time we will be celebrating a new president."

In addition to Rosen regularly raising issues during the freeholder meetings was the regular accusations that she was turning the meetings into a campaign stop. At times, accusations between the two candidates turned personal.

She accused Vicari of character assassination for dredging up an indictment against Rosen for theft by deception that was . also raised questions of Rosen's financial history. Vicari accused Rosen of personal attacks, too, as she brought up his appointment as Berkeley superintendent while serving as freeholder.

Does she have any regrets on how this campaign went? "If I could have done things differently, I would have raised more money," she said. "I oppose pay for play, when a candidate recieve funds and gets returns by way of favors later on."

Neither Rosen or Vicari said they plan to leave the county political stage anytime soon.

"Even though we lost, I am not going away," Rosen said. "I will not stop trying to make Ocean County government better."

Vicari pledged the same from his victory podium.

"I'm going to be here a long time," he said.

Nick Loffredo and Don Bennett contributed to this report.

Mr. ? November 12, 2011 at 10:46 PM
Sal and Mac I agree with both of you, and its a shame...not that I agree with you, but the way it is and I feel nothing will change. Brick turned over to the Dems, but look at the issue of a 25% tax increase! Jackson may fall next as I have been told they just experienced a 16% tax increase. The voters seem satisfied with the tax rate in the County, and as Vicari just said, he will concentrate on Barnegat Bay and help seniors, both push button topics. With Ritacco, Vasil, Garvey and Malik decided not to run and were replaced by non Gilmore candidates elect. Along with that, the TR School district voters excepted a 3.6% (TR) tax increase. Little Johny's parents would otherwise have to pay for his sports, so the increase was approved, mostly by organized sports groups patronage. The Dems have a split Party, the Wyatt Earp loyalists and those who endorse Britta Wenzel. Maybe if and when Ritacco goes down and the mysterious six plus other indictments become public, will there be enough hot topic issue to bring about some change. TROOC has all but disappeared and as far as the Dems, who knows? but so far no good. Mac I like your idea of a third party, so run with it! Anybody check out the ELECT reports yet to see the who's who? And the Soprano State? I dont think Ingle would know who and where to write about next in this state! Maybe OC!
Mac November 12, 2011 at 10:58 PM
While I'm sure Rosen got a number of votes in support of her, I believe most of her votes came from people like me who just couldn't find anything redeeming in Vicari no matter how hard they tried. It's strictly a class issue. Anyone or anything other than Vicari will do, thank you. As a point of interest, Joe wasn't one of those dead candidates the GOP is so fond of electing, was he?
Ken Bank November 13, 2011 at 12:04 AM
With a US Senate GOP primary next year between tea party favorite Mike Doherty and RINO Joe Kyrillos there may be an opportunity for reformers. Kyrillos will no doubt have Gilmore's blessing and will run on the organization line along with Jon Runyan and the rest of Gilmore's stooges. If the tea parties and TROOC get together and put up a full slate of candidates with Mike Doherty and Justin Murphy (who got 40% against Runyan last year) at the top of the ticket, things could get very interesting.
4Liberty November 13, 2011 at 02:30 AM
Rosen's got 35,961 votes, are the Democratic voters in Ocean County doing drugs? Wyatt Earp is a puppet of the Ocean County GOP. He got his political job on the Board of Elections, and now public benefits. He reminds me of the family dog that sits under the GOP table waiting for the crumbs to fall on the floor or lick the scraps off the GOP plates. Rosen, like Barnegat Bill, Marta Harrison, and others have used Ocean County Democratic voters to cut deals with George to get their jobs in NJ MVC, Board of Elections, NJ DOT, and even judgeships. Remember Big Al Sanatoria? Political corruption and nepotism at its best! At least when Potter was the Chairman of the OC Democrats he supported local candidates. If the GOP wants to make Rosen disappear, all they have to do is make her a full time instructor where she works OCC. lol After all, she is always complaining that she is only a part-time employee and gets no benefits. These losers are like litigants who file frivolous law suits; they know if they run over and over again the GOP Party’s Bosses might buy them off with a job. It’s cheaper, and then they get to pull the strings. George all she wants is a job!
1stcav November 13, 2011 at 12:04 PM
Thats been done before here, if they bother you that much pay them off with a full time job.It's been done with X Mayors in TR....

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