It was packed.
That was the word out of Belmar tonight where Mayor Matt Doherty kicked off his Democratic bid for freeholder in Monmouth County.
Two-hundred people came out in support of Doherty, a Hurricane Sandy-tested local executive married to Democratic Party insider Maggie Moran.
Those who rallied behind the mayor tonight included Democratic State Party Chairman John Currie, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), Union County Sheriff Joe Cryan, Assemblyman Jamel Holley (D-20), Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-33), Assemblyman Dan Benson (D-14), and Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes.
Doherty wants to secure his party’s nomination for a general election shot at incumbent Republican freeholders Serena DiMaso and Tom Arnone.
Others in the room included U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone, former US Senator Bob Torricelli, State Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling (Monmouth), State Assemblyman Joann Downey (Monmouth), Former State Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell (Hudson), Middlesex County Freeholder Ken Armwood, Essex County Freeholder Leonard Luciano and mayors and councilmembers across Central New Jersey including Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik, Atlantic Highlands Mayor Randi LeGrice, Sea Bright Mayor Dina Long, Manasquan Mayor Ed Donovan, Aberdeen Mayor Fred Tagliarini, Matawan Mayor Joe Altomonte, Neptune Mayor Kevin McMillan, Spring Lake Mayor Jennifer Naughton, Lake Como Mayor Brian Wilton, Red Bank Mayor Pat Menna, Brick Township Mayor John Ducey and dozens of other councilmembers and mayors from across Central New Jersey, Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty and former Farmingdale Council member Carly Immen formally kicked off their campaign for the two seats that will be contested on Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders this November.
Doherty and Immen join Sheriff candidate Jeff Cantor and Surrogate candidate Vincent Solomeno as prospective candidates on the Democratic slate for Countywide office in November.
“We believe in putting people before politics,” said Doherty. “It’s that belief that has allowed us to attract great new businesses to Belmar that put people to work, help keep taxes down and provide tremendous destinations for residents and visitors alike. We have had no tax increases in Belmar in five years, while just last year the County freeholders raised property taxes millions of dollars on middle class families. That is simply unacceptable.
“I’m not running for a cause or to protest something,” he added. “I’m running because it is becoming almost impossible to raise a family in Monmouth County with the skyrocketing county taxes. I’m running to help attract more businesses countywide and I’m running because more needs to be done to get Sandy impacted families countywide back in their homes. And our team is running to win.”
Doherty has been Mayor of Belmar since January, 2011 and previously served as a Councilman in town starting in 2007. A financial advisor for Metlife Premier client group of New Jersey in Wall, Doherty graduated Georgetown University with a BA in government in 1995 and went on to earn his Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University in 1997.