For the Monmouth Octogenarians, it’s the end of the line

The election of 35-year-old Adam Puharic as the new Monmouth County Republican Chairman is the latest move by the GOP to rebuild a once-powerful county party organization that has been hammered by allegations of widespread corruption on the backs of a new generation of leaders. By the end of this year, the all-Republican five-member Freeholder Board will have had a complete makeover, with aging veterans like Harry Larrison — a Freeholder for 36 years — Thomas Powers and Edward Stominski replaced by a much younger group. For the seat of the 87-year-old Theodore Narozanick, an elected official for most of the last sixty years, Republicans have nominated Andrew Lucas, a 28-year-old Manalapan Township Committeeman. The Freeholder Board now includes 37-year-old Robert Clifton and 38-year-old Anna Little. The same thing has happened with the Monmouth legislative delegation over the last four years. Sean Kean, now 43, won an Assembly seat in 2002 when 84-year-old Thomas Smith died in office. Amy Handlin, 50, beat 79-year-old Joseph Azzolina in the 2005 GOP primary. Jennifer Beck, 38, won a State Assembly seat in 2005, unseating a Democrat who defeated 73-year-old Michael Arnone two years earlier. State Senator Joseph Palaia has already announced that he will not seek re-election in 2007, when he turns 80. State Senator Joseph Kyrillos, elected to the State Assembly in 1987 at age 27, has emerged as a sort of elder statesmen among Monmouth Republicans at the relatively young age of 46. Brian Nelson, a 28-year-old lawyer from Middletown who served as Executive Director of the New Jersey Republican State Committee in 2004, has emerged as a key player in Monmouth County politics.

For the Monmouth Octogenarians, it’s the end of the line