Bencivengo set to announce re-election bid

Republican Hamilton Mayor John Bencivengo is expected to announce tonight that he will seek re-election to a second term in November.

Bencivengo has scheduled an event tonight at 5:30 at the Stone terrace in Hamilton, where sources say he will make the announcement.

Bencivengo has been mayor of Hamilton since 2008 after defeating Democratic incumbent Glen Gilmore in a race decided by less than 700 votes.  Gilmore was seeking his third term as mayor after succeeding Republican Jack Rafferty, a hugely popular figure in township politics who had held the post for 24 years.

Bencivengo will be joined on the ticket by republican council members Kelly Yaede and Kevin Meara, who are both seeking second terms.

No Democratic frontrunner has emerged to challenge Bencivengo.  Tennille McCoy, who gave the Democratic response to Bencivengo’s State of the Township address, was rumored to be interested in the job, but spokesman Terry West told PolitickerNJ she instead plans to run for township council.

Another potential candidate, Freeholder John Cimino, who was defeated in his bid to replace newly anointed State Sen. Linda Greenstein in the assembly, has said he has no plans to run for mayor.

Don Tretola, a senior director of public affairs for Allies Inc., who was also briefly in the mix for Greenstein’s seat has told some party members he is interested in taking on Bencivengo.

Tretola was a Republican until late last year, when he switched his party affiliation.

Bencivengo was the head of the Hamilton Partnership, a group of private sector leaders interested in business development, before he was ousted from the post by Gilmore.  Bencivengo, Yaede and Meara completed a resurgence of the GOP after the party was nearly vanquished in the Gilmore era.

The comeback began in 2005, with the election of Republicans Tom Goodwin, Dave Kenny and Dennis Pone, who took control of the five-member council after four year of Democratic rule.

Bencivengo set to announce re-election bid