Scott Sipprelle won Michael Halfacre’s home county, winning the GOP organization line in Monmouth in his bid to take on U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-Hopewell) in the 12th district. The Monmouth GOP is also backing newspaper publisher Diane Gooch for the GOP nomination for Congress in District 6. Gooch faces Highlands Mayor Anna Little, a former Monmouth County Freeholder, for the Republican nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch).
Sipprelle and Gooch, millionaire first time candidates who have pledged to spent more than a milion dollars each on their campaigns, won a vote of the Monmouth GOP steering committee by wide margins. Sipprelle beat Halfacre, the mayor of Fair Haven, 22-13; Gooch defeated Little 28-10, with six votes for Rev. Shannon Wright.
In the race for Monmouth County Freeholder, Neptune City Mayor Tom Arnone defeated former Middletown Committeeman Thomas Wilkens by four votes, 25-21, with 13 votes for Spring Lake Councilman Gary Rich. Arnone will run with incumbent Rob Clifton against Democratic Freeholder John D’Amico and his running mate, Spring Lake Councilwoman Janice Venables.
Sipprelle has already secured the Republican organization line in Mercer, Somerset and Middlesex counties. Gooch has the line in Middlesex, and Wright will have the line in Union.