County Surrogate Race: Steinhorn on the Loss
Incumbent Rosemarie Peters won a second five-year term in the seat.
Even after losing his challenge for the Monmouth County Surrogate's office to incumbent, Middletown resident and former Mayor Rosemarie Peters, Michael Steinhorn maintains that he raised awareness concerning a public office about which most voters know little.
Peters, however, had said that she spoke to more than 50 groups in the past year in an effort to better educate people on the function of her office and how to make the best use of it, by offering help on how to better understand getting your estate in order. It's an initiative in which she takes particular pride.
Steinhorn, all through the campaign, denounced the effectiveness of Peters’ communication and accountability techniques, methods that Peters and others saw as her strengths.
“I’m a hands-on person,” Peters said in her candidate profile interview. “I pride myself in making a point to fully understand each job within the office and how all do and can better interface with one another for the most comprehensive approach to the work. It’s really a fascinating and rewarding job — and more so when approaching it in that hands-on manner and really getting involved in every aspect.”
Steinhorn disagreed and felt he had enlightened people about the job of a surrogate merely by running for the spot.
"I feel I did a public service by running," said Steinhorn, of Rumson, who has run three times without success for that town's governing body. "I'm very happy with what I did."
With 457 of 458 voting districts representing 99 percent of the electorate, Peters won 62,108 votes, or about 60 percent of the total, compared to Steinhorn's 40,894 amounting to about 40 percent according to the totals released by the Monmouth County Election Board.
Blaming his loss largely for low voter turnout and insufficient news coverage of his opinions, Steinhorn asserted that had more voters shown up at the polls, the results might have been different.
"The low turnout was bad for the Democrats," said Steinhorn who chairs the Rumson Democratic organization. "The people most affected by current policies didn't turn out."
"Today was a voter failure, not a politician failure," he added.
Should he run for office again, Steinhorn says he will start his own newspaper to spread his message. By operating his own publication, Steinhorn believes he and like-minded candidates will be able to write and speak their minds freely in op-ed pieces.
"I would put out my own newspaper and not count on the local press, so everyone would get to see our candidates' stands and not the filtration process," he said.
Peters, who has a communications background, has said that she feels people, in general, and candidates need to understand the difference between an opinion piece and a news story, so as not to confuse fact with opinion and finger-pointing.
She said she feels she has been effective in funneling unbiased information about her office and its function and plans to keep moving in that vein.