Source: if Bencivengo stands down, Goodwin could emerge for the GOP

Former state Senator Tom Goodwin is said to be interested in running for mayor in the event of a special election, according to a Republican source close to Hamilton Township politics.

Goodwin could not be reached for comment to confirm, and early indications are that Mayor John Bencivengo – charged by the feds Thursday with taking a bribe – wants to dig in and fight for his innocence from Town Hall. 

A former township councilman who ran unsuccessfully for the state Assembly in 2007, then acccepted appointment to the 14th District state Senate seat in 2010 before losing to Linda Greenstein, Goodwin has solid ties to the GOP establishment and is respected for his financial knowledge.

Another oft-mentioned prospective Republican candidate is Councilwoman Kelly Yaede, but Yaede on Thursday told that now is not the time to politic.

Silmilarly, on the Democrats’ side, no one among elected officials is leaping to put his or her name out there prior to a Bencivengo resignation. 

A Democratic source said that to his knowledge no one has discussed former Mayor Glen Gilmore as a candidate.

Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo doesn’t want the job.

Assemblyman Dan Benson and Freeholder John Cimino are keeping their options open.

Former Council candidate Joe Santo, a retired teacher, and longtime local Democratic leader Barbara Plumeri are said to be interested, the Democratic source said.

Republicans have taken control of Hamilton since Gilmore’s skid toward his final 2007 loss. Bencivengo enjoyed a landslide re-election last year and a famously tough GOP majority mans the township council.  Source: if Bencivengo stands down, Goodwin could emerge for the GOP