February 20, 2014 at 6:00 PM
BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Reacting to the Berkeley Heights Republican Municipal Committee's announcement on Thursday in which the Committee unanimously chose to support the selection of Robert Woodruff as its nominee for mayor in the upcoming township election, incumbent Republican Mayor Joe Bruno told The Alternative Press that he was surprised by the Committee's choice not to back him as the current mayor. "Apparently they are looking for a change," said Bruno.
Republican Party Chairman Dave Ronner backs Woodruff, telling The Alternative Press, "Bob Woodruff has the experience and expertise to lead Berkeley Heights with a collaborative style and commitment to partnerships with the Township Council and the community at large."
Upon the Committee’s announcement, Woodruff received endorsements from all five fellow council members: Jeanne Kingsley, Kevin Hall, Ed Delia, Tom Pirone and Craig Pastore; State Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr., State Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, and State Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz.
In response, Bruno talked of his own efforts in re-establishing town pride with a vision that is coming to fruition. He listed the positive news of the past year with Berkeley Heights being ranked the sixth-best small town in which to live; a "great place to open business," and his attendance at many grand openings and charity events. The Town Clock and Avenue of the Americas projects provide the symbol of being home, said Bruno.
Bruno stated that a lot of work has been done. Just a year ago, he was nominated for Best Mayor in Union County and received the Bob Franks Award.
Bruno could not provide specifics as to why he did not receive the party's support, however he believes his high-profile accessibility and open communication could have been a factor. He was told that he talks too much and answers too many questions, he said. There also have been past differences in governement issues.
Bruno said that he is a loyal Republican and plans to run a classy campaign and he doesn't want to create a "sideshow." He will run on his positive record, his accessibility during the day and act as the chief spokesperson of the town, he told The Alternative Press. The people will make their decision and the answer will be made in the June 3rd Primary Election, Bruno said.
“The people of our town all want the same thing," Woodruff said, "a safe, vibrant community that continues to attract businesses and volunteers, a place where citizens know that their schools and property values are among the best in the state; a place where all citizens regardless of age are treated with dignity and respect and who know that their opinions are valued. The only way to get where you want to go is by working together to achieve a common goal."