BELMAR, NJ – Surrounded by over 300 supporters, including New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney, State Democratic Party Chairman John Currie, U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone, Union County Sheriff and Former State Democratic Party Chairman Joe Cryan, Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes, Former US Senator Bob Torricelli, State Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (Hudson), State Assemblyman Jamel Holley (Union), State Assemblyman Daniel Benson (Mercer), 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 Mayor 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,” continued Doherty. “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.”
Matt Doherty has been Mayor of Belmar since January, 2011 and previously served as a Councilman in town starting in 2007. Since becoming Mayor, Belmar residents have yet to see a tax increase on the municipal level. He is a Financial Advisor for Metlife Premier client group of New Jersey in Wall. Mayor 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. He and his wife, Maggie, are raising their three children, Hannah, Claire and Séamus, in Belmar.
“County property taxes have continued to rise because Monmouth County government has had no checks and balances of late,” said Carly Immen. “Instead of running government the same way you would run your household or business finances the Freeholder Board has become a solely partisan operation consistently draining money from the pockets of middle class taxpayers. My husband and I are raising our family here in Monmouth County and there is nothing more important to me than ensuring that we get things back on track and moving in the right direction, and I believe that public service is the most direct route towards achieving that goal.”
Carly Immen proudly served as a member of the Farmingdale Borough Council and successfully formed a self-supporting Recreation Commission to bring community events and programs to residents of all ages, a first for Farmingdale. She also led the effort to build and install a Little Free Library in town and is currently active in the Farmingdale School PTA and as a Farmingdale Recreation Commission volunteer. She is the Marketing Director for the Atlantic Club and Milagro Spa and holds a Bachelors degree in English with a minor in political science. Carly is married to Kevin Immen, Director of Sales for United States Beverage and a United States Marine, and together they are raising three daughters, Charlotte, Mary Cate and Erin.
Jeff Cantor previously announced his candidacy for Monmouth County Sheriff. Cantor has been in the U.S. Army, both active and in the reserves, since 1985. He has served our country around the world, including deployments to Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. After starting as a Private First Class, Cantor rose through the ranks and has earned the rank of Colonel in the Army Reserves. He has also been a Councilman in Marlboro since 2004 where he has served as the Council liaison to the Police Department and as a member of the Local Emergency Planning Council. Cantor is also a licensed Emergency Medical Technician for the Township of Marlboro and has been a member of the Marlboro First Aid Squad since 1996, volunteering countless hours to protect and serve the population of Marlboro as well as the surrounding towns.
Jeff Cantor has been awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (3rd award), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal (3rd award), Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal (2nd award), Kosovo Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal (2nd award); He has also been awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Combat Action Badge and the Basic Parachutist Badge.
Vincent Solomeno announced his candidacy for Monmouth County Surrogate last week. Raised in Union Beach, Solomeno graduated from the Marine Academy of Science and Technology (M.A.S.T.) at Sandy Hook before earning his Bachelor of Science from the University of Scranton. He is the recipient of the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship and J. William Fulbright Scholarship. As a Fulbright Scholar, he received a Master of Arts from the University of Amsterdam for his study of the roots of radicalization in Muslim and non-Muslim communities in the Netherlands.
Solomeno is a Captain in the New Jersey Army National Guard. He has served as an Engineer platoon leader, logistics manager, rear detachment commander, and public affairs officer. From 2010 - 2014, Solomeno was the full time Command Historian of the New Jersey National Guard. He returned in September 2015 from an overseas deployment to Central and Southwest Asia. A recipient of the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal, he was called to active duty during and after Superstorm Sandy, working in devastated communities across Monmouth County.
In addition to his service on the Hazlet Land Use Board, Vincent Solomeno is a trustee of the New Jersey Civil War Heritage Association, a member of the American Legion, the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks (BPOE), the Netherland-America Foundation, and Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Keyport.