Democratic fratricide may take Monmouth race off the table

Democrats came within 1,792 votes of winning a seat on the all-Republican Monmouth County Freeholder Board last November — if not for the 18,698 votes cast for the Asbury Park Press-endorsed Green Party candidate they probably would have won two seats — so Monmouth was expected to be a battleground county in 2006 as the GOP seeks to defend two more of their seats. But infighting among Monmouth Democrats makes a victory there this fall far less likely. Monmoth County Democrats announced this week that they would no longer support their Freeholder candidate, Leonard Inzerillo, because the former Middletown Board of Education member’s failure to file campaign finance reports for his 2005 Assembly campaign. The controversy over the ELEC reports led to a very public fight between Inzerillo and the Democratic County Chairman, Victor Scudiery. Scudiery and Inzerillo have had a rocky relationship since 2003, when Inzerillo within 244 votes of ousting longtime Republican Assemblyman Joseph Azzolina. He blamed state and county Democrats for failing to help him finance his campaign. Had Democrats given Inzerillo money, he likely would have won that seat. Scudiery refused to back Inzerillo for an ’05 rematch; instead the nominations went to former Assemblyman William Flynn and Keansburg attorney Michael Dasaro, who beat Inzerillo in the primary but lost the general election.

Democratic fratricide may take Monmouth race off the table