vincent solomenoHAZLET, NJ - Vincent Solomeno announced this morning that he is seeking the Democratic nomination for Monmouth County Surrogate in 2016.

A Captain in the New Jersey Army National Guard, Fulbright Scholar, and member of the Hazlet Township Land Use Board, Solomeno, 30, cited a determination to improve services and advocate for county residents as his reason for entering the race.

“As an Army officer, I deployed overseas to provide safety and security for our allies. In the National Guard, I did the same thing here at home during and after Superstorm Sandy. I’ve served our country, I’ve served our state, and now with your help I would like to serve our county,” said Solomeno in a video published to YouTube. “I will be an innovative, active Surrogate. I will champion the cause of the most vulnerable among us: those who grieve, those who are unable to care for themselves, and children in need of a home.”

“Vincent’s record of community and military service is impressive,” said Hazlet Township Committeewoman Barbara Ronchetti, reelected last November for a second term. “Monmouth County is ready for a new generation of leaders. I have no doubt that in addition to providing services to residents in the difficult days following the passing of a loved one, he will protect residents by exposing those who prey on older people and the defenseless young.”

An Army Engineer officer, Vincent returned last September from an overseas deployment as a future operations officer with U.S. Army Central Command. As a part time, traditional drilling Guardsman, he serves as a Platoon Trainer with the New Jersey Army National Guard Officer Candidate School, where he instructs, trains, and mentors future officers. Vincent previously served full time as the Command Historian of the New Jersey National Guard. A recipient of the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal, he served on state active duty during and after Superstorm Sandy.

Former Superior Court Judge and Monmouth County Freeholder John D’Amico said, “Vincent Solomeno has the intelligence, energy, and empathy needed to invigorate the Surrogate's Office with progressive programs. He will challenge the status quo and give his all in the service of taxpayers.”

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The Surrogate is a constitutional officer who is elected to the position every five years. The principal duties of the Surrogate include the probating of wills, appointing of estate administrators, supervising guardians, and administering adoptions.

For more information and to watch the announcement video in full, please visit www.MonmouthStrong.com.