The open slot on the Democratic Assembly slate in the thirteenth district was not intentional: Old Bridge resident Bob Brown had about 169 signatures on the wrong petition, leaving Patricia Walsh as the lone challenger to GOP incumbents Amy Handlin and Samuel Thompson. Democrats are pledging a write-in campaign to nominate a second Assembly candidate — and a Senate candidate against Minority Leader Leonard Lance in the 23rd district.
One indication that the Democrats don't intend to mount much of a challenge to five-term State Senator Joseph Kyrillos: their candidate is Leonard Inzerillo, who had a very public fight with party leaders last summer.
A former Middletown Board of Education member, Inzerillo came 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. But when Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Victor Scudiery refused to back Inzerillo for an '05 rematch, he ran off the line and lost the primary to former Assemblyman William Flynn and Keansburg attorney Michael Dasaro.
In 2006, Democrats picked Inzerillo to run for Freeholder, but in August, Scudiery withdrew his support in a controversy over Inzerillo's failure to file campaign finance reports for his 2005 Assembly campaign. Inzerillo wound up dropping out of the race.