BARNEGAT – Democrat Marianne Clemente is withdrawing from the Barnegat Township Committee race, her campaign announced in a prepared statement Tuesday.
Ms. Clemente has cited her involvement two congressional races, one being the upcoming 2018 race in the third congressional district, where Democrats will try once again to unseat incumbent Representative Tom MacArthur. In addition, Clemente is supporting the 4th congressional district candidacy of Jim Keady (D – Spring Lake). Last year, Keady, who is the owner of the Lighthouse Tavern in Waretown, ran in the 3rd congressional district, which covers most of Ocean and Burlington counties.
Clemente Says CD3, CD4 Races Are “Extremely Competitive”
“I felt that since we were able to select an extremely qualified candidate in Paul Whitcraft to run with Dan Ward, my public service would be better directed at these two extremely competitive congressional races,” Clemente said in a campaign statement. “That doesn’t diminish the importance of our local race here in Barnegat or mean that I won’t be involved in our 2017 election.”
Whitcraft and Clemente’s former running mate, Daniel Ward will be the officially endorsed candidates of The Barnegat Democratic Club going forward, according to Clemente’s public statement. The two will be challening incumbent GOP township committee members John Novak and his running
McCabe At The Helm For The Barnegat GOP, Incumbents Novak and Cirulli Seek Re-election
Asked to respond to the Democrat candidate switch, incumbent Barnegat Committeeman John Novak (R), who would have been one of Clemente’s incumbent opponents, said, “Whoever the candidates, were, are, or if another change takes place, happen to be – I welcome them to the discussion as well as applaud them for engaging and getting involved.”
“I hope to see the candidates attend a few Township Committee meetings to observe the functions and familiarize themselves not only with the process but with all the good that is happening in Barnegat,” he added.
In other Barnegat political news, it should be noted that the new Barnegat Republican Club president is Susan McCabe. McCabe herself was originally elected as a Democrat, but switched to the GOP after serving on the committee, not unlike Little Egg Harbor’s Lisa Stevens.
Asked to comment on McCabe’s ascension to the Republican Club presidency, Novak claimed that partisan politics shouldn’t define local decisions.
“All politics are local but there are no Democratic potholes or Republican streetlights – our residents expect and deserve safety, security, recreational facilities and the quality of life accouterments that enhance property values – making a town a desirable place to live.”