District 13 Assembly Has Six in Running
Redistricting puts six candidates on the ballot for General Assembly in District 13.
The District 13 General Assembly Race has six candidates on the ballot, including two Republican incumbents. Statewide redistricting has added new faces to the area, but the main issues remain the same.
District 13 now includes Aberdeen, Atlantic Highlands, Fair Haven, Hazlet, Highlands, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Little Silver, Marlboro, Middletown, Monmouth Beach, Oceanport, Rumson, Sea Bright and Union Beach.
Each of the 40 electoral districts in New Jersey elects one State Senator and two Assembly representatives to the New Jersey Legislature. As with Congress on the national level, these are the people who make the laws for New Jersey. Click here to see which district you are in. The State Senate is upper house of the legislature and the General Assembly is the lower house.
Legislators in both the Assembly and the Senate receive a salary of $49,000 for what the state regards as a part time position. Legislative elections are held in November of odd-numbered years, with members serving two-year terms.
Republican incumbent Amy Handlin has served District 13 since 2006. She is the Deputy Republican Leader, and was previously a Monmouth County Freeholder and a member of the Middletown Township Committee.
Handlin has sponsored bills such as the Profiteering Penalty act, which she said increases the financial hit a corrupt political official would take for breaking the law, and the Party Democrat Act which reduces the power of political bosses to hand pick candidates.
"I want to continue pushing ethical standards, we desperately need to do a better job of educating public officials about their responsibilities and about how much damage they do to the public when they push the envelope,” Handlin said.
The assemblywoman said she also plans to continue to work with the governor on pension and benefit reform to bring taxes down.
Republican incumbent Declan O’Scanlon is currently serving District 12, but statewide redistricting has him up on the ballot for District 13 on Nov. 8.
O’Scanlon has been an assemblyman since 2008, and is currently the Republican Budget Officer and Policy Co-Chair. The assemblyman was raised in Little Silver, where he served as a councilman for 14 years.
O’Scanlon sponsored the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority Act, and an act that requires bond issues on voter ballots to disclose the total amount of debt the entity in question currently has.
Democratic Candidate Patrick Short is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel and the owner of a consulting services company that specializes in project management who served on the Middletown Township Committee from 2007-2009.
In addition to his own business experience, Short has taught economics at the College Level. He hopes to bring his business savvy to government.
“Every business out there is looking for market-share or how to expand their businesses. I think that kind of concept should be integrated in to the way NJ does business,” said Short.
If elected to office, Short says his three main priorities will be to restore trust in government, create jobs and find a more equitable funding stream for schools and remove school tax from local property tax.
Kevin M. Lavan is another Democratic candidate for the District 13 NJ State Assembly seat.
According to the Middletown Democrat website, Lavan is a U.S. Army veteran and a hiring agent with New York Shipping.
Lavan started his governmental career on the Hazlet Planning and Zoning Boards as well as the Bayshore Regional Sewerage Authority. After gaining experience, Lavan served the Hazlet Township Committee as committeeman, deputy mayor, and then mayor from 2005-2010. During that time, Lavan "increased transparency in local government, improved youth recreation, and delivered the lowest property tax increases in a generation."
Independent candidates Frank Cottone, of Keansburg, and William "Bill" Lawton, of Hazlet, are running as a team under the Constitution Party platform, which ConstitutionParty.com states is "the only party that is completely pro-life, pro-states’ rights, pro-second amendment, pro-constitutional, and in favor of limited government."
"It all boils down to politicians getting a credit card in the form of a bond debt without voter approval," Cottone said in a campaign YouTube clip.