Ocean County Freeholder Jack Kelly is expressing interest in the open State Assembly seat in the ninth district, and insiders say that he would be the front runner for the job if he decides to enter the race. Ocean Township Mayor Daniel Van Pelt, who was edged out for an Assembly seat by Brian Rumpf in 2003, is expected to run. If Kelly decides against a legislative bid, Freeholder John Bartlett, a former Pine Beach Mayor who has spent more than twenty years in county government, could enter the race. State Senator Leonard Connors announcement that he will not seek re-election to a ninth term is expected to result in an open Assembly seat. His son, Assemblyman Christopher Connors, is viewed as the leading candidate to replace his father in the Senate. Look for some Republicans to advocate the nomination of a woman for the Assembly or Freeholder in 2007: the Ocean County GOP has not sent a woman to the Board of Freeholders since Hazel Gluck more than thirty years ago, and has not run a woman for State Assembly since Virginia Haines won a second term in 1993.