Formally seeking Monmouth Dems Chairmanship, Gopal unfurls list of backers

Democratic activist and businessman Vin Gopal of Long Branch formally announced his candidacy for Monmouth County Democratic Party Chairman with the support of more than 100 Democratic Party municipal chairs, mayors, elected officials and local leaders.

Veteran chairman Victor Scudiery is retiring in June, setting up a showdown between Gopal and Marlboro attorney Frank LaRocca – and maybe others.

LaRocca has the backing of Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik.

For his part, Gopal praised Scudiery as he formally entered the contest, to be decided at a convention on the Tuesday after the June Primary.

“Victor has led our party with courage and integrity, growing this county’s Democratic organization and helping to elect dozens of Democrats throughout the county,” said the chairman candidate. “I know that he will continue to support Democrats after June as he focuses on his other business and charitable endeavors.”

An unsuccessful candidate for the Legislature last year, Gopal was the only Monmouth County Democratic Legislative candidate who received an endorsement from the Asbury Park Press.

His 11th District team was able to raise over $200,000 for his campaign.

“I am supporting Vin Gopal because he brings energy and experience, a combination we need for the Monmouth County Democrats. I will let our delegation know why I am supporting Vin this June as Victor Scudiery’s successor,” said Joe Caliendo, chairman of the Middletown Democratic Party, which has 92 County Committee seats.

Gopal owns and operates several businesses, including a chain of community publications supported by over 200 advertisers that reach over 35,000 homes and businesses each month. He also owns and operates a retail embroidery and sign store in Hazlet that serves more than 1,000 customers per year.  

Gopal serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Trustees of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth County and is President of the Hazlet Business Owners Association. Gopal also volunteered for many years as an EMT for rescue squads in Freehold and Colts Neck.

Full list of Gopal supporters:


Bill Shenton, Aberdeen
Amy Quinn, Asbury Park & County Dems Vice-Chair
Luis Pulido, Belmar
Ed Cicchi, Bradley Beach  
Rick Ambrosia, Colts Neck
Matt Cohen, Fair Haven
J.J. Mistretta, Freehold Township  
Rebecca Kane, Highlands
Andy Bace, Hazlet
Tony Orsini, Holmdel
Steve Morlino, Howell
Robert Napoli, Interlaken
John McCarthy, Keansburg
Bob Bergen, Keyport
Daniel J. O’Hern, Little Silver
Mike Ryan, Lake Como  
Gerry Ward, Manalapan
Florlee Wan, Matawan
Joe Caliendo, Middletown  
Jackie Dollive, Neptune City  
Jim Mowczan, Neptune
Janice Robbins, Ocean Township
Ed Zipprich, Red Bank
Ann Baker, Roosevelt
Dina Long, Sea Bright
Norma Rosenbloom, Shrewsbury Borough
Ed Nolan, Shrewsbury Township
Michael Lee, Tinton Falls
Ken Connors, Union Beach
Eric Brophy, Wall Township
Larry Shapiro, West Long Branch  

Aberdeen Mayor Fred Tagliarini
Asbury Park Mayor Ed Johnson
Belmar Mayor Matthew Doherty
Bradley Beach Mayor Julie Schreck
Neptune Mayor Randy Bishop
Lake Como Mayor Mike Ryan
Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long
Roosevelt Mayor Beth Battel
Shrewsbury Mayor Ed Nolan
Spring Lake Mayor Jennifer Naughton
Aberdeen Deputy Mayor Margaret Montone
Asbury Park Deputy Mayor John Loffredo
Neptune Deputy Mayor Eric Houghtaling
Aberdeen Councilman Greg Cannon
Atlantic Highlands Councilman Roy Dellosso
Freehold Borough Council President George Schnurr
Hazlet Committeeman Joe Belasco
Highlands Councilman Chris Francy
Highlands Councilwoman Rebecca Kane
Highlands Councilman Kevin Redmond
Holmdel Committeeman Larry Fink
Interlaken Councilman Robert Napoli
Keyport Council President Christian Bolte
Keyport Councilman Kenneth McPeek
Keyport Councilman Joe Sheridan
Keyport Councilwoman Joy-Michele Tomczak Lake Como Councilwoman  Marni McFadden-Lee
Lake Como Councilwoman  Patricia Tzibrouk Little Silver Councilman Daniel J. O’Hern Neptune Committeeman Kevin McMillan Neptune Committeewoman Mary Beth Jahn Red Bank Council President Art Murphy
Red Bank Councilman Ed Zipprich
Red Bank Councilwoman Kathy Horgan
Red Bank Councilwoman Juanita Lewis
Red Bank Councilwoman Sharon Lee
Spring Lake Councilwoman Janice Venables
Spring Lake Councilwoman Priscilla Reilly
Spring Lake Councilman Bob Drasheff
Mike Beson, Democratic Leader

Former Monmouth County Freeholder Amy Mallet
Former Monmouth County Freeholder John D’Amico
Former Monmouth County Freeholder John Villapiano


Monmouth Ocean AFL-CIO CLC – Official Unanimous Endorsement
Wyatt Earp
Mike Ryan
Pete Geronimo
Chuddy Whalen
Joe Caliendo


“As Democratic leaders in Red Bank, we proudly support Vin Gopal as the next county Democratic Chairman. Vin has supported Democrats in Red Bank for years, helping us raise money and helping us organize our campaigns. He would make an outstanding chairman and we plan to inform the Red Bank delegation about our support.”

Red Bank Democratic Party Municipal Chairman & Councilman Ed Zipprich
Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna
Red Bank Council President Art Murphy
Red Bank Councilwoman Kathy Horgan
Red Bank Councilwoman Juanita Lewis
Red Bank Councilwoman Sharon Lee
Red Bank Democrats Vice Chairwoman Lauren Niccosia
Red Bank Democratic Club President Barbara Boas
Red Bank Democratic Club Secretary Deborah Marks

“As Democratic leaders in Middletown, Monmouth County’s largest municipality, we proudly support Vin Gopal as the next county Democratic Chairman. Vin has supported Middletown for years, helping to raise money for our municipal candidates and helping the party any way he can. We will urge the 92 member Middletown delegation to support Vin Gopal this June for county chairman.”

Joe Caliendo, Middletown Democratic Party Municipal Chairman
Sean F. Byrnes, Former Middletown Township Committeeman (2008-2011)
Marilyn Tuohy, Middletown Democratic Party Vice-Chairwoman
Marilyn Maguire, State Committeewoman
Don Watson, Middletown Democratic Club President
John Amberg, Middletown Democratic Party
Marilyn Michaels, Middletown Democratic Party
Linda Baum, Middletown Democratic Party
James Grenafege, Democratic Nominee for Middletown Township (2011)
Mary Mahoney, Democratic Nominee for Middletown Township (2010)
Mike Morris, Middletown Democratic Party

“The Manalapan Democrats join Chairman Gerry Ward in fully endorsing Vin Gopal for County Democratic Chairman. As 3 former Democratic Mayors, we give Vin our 100% support and we know he will work hard to help Democrats win across Western Monmouth.”

Former Manalapan Mayor Michelle Roth
Former Manalapan Mayor Beth Ward
Former Manalapan Mayor Drew Shapiro

Formally seeking Monmouth Dems Chairmanship, Gopal unfurls list of backers