BERNARDS TWP., NJ - The two officially endorsed Republican candidates for Bernards Township Committee in this November's election Joe Esposito and John Surano, are scheduled kick off their campaign from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 28 at the Allen Street gazebo in downtown Basking Ridge.

The candidates issued an invitation to residents to join them for coffee and conversation, at what they said will be the first of many events to meet the candidates.

The candidates, if elected, would be new to the all-Republican Township Committee. Longtime committee members Carolyn Gaziano and John Malay chose now to seek re-election this year.

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“I’ve watched as residents have become increasingly engaged with the township over the past couple of years," Esposito said in a press release. "As a leader, I believe being granted the public’s trust is a privilege, and the process of governance must be inclusive and transparent, so I welcome having an open dialogue with the community."

He added, “The township is ready for fresh faces, and John and I are excited to have this opportunity to listen to all voices, and consider every option when making decisions.” 

New to public office, Esposito, a 19-year resident of Basking Ridge, is a 2017 graduate of Leadership Somerset and was named to the board of directors of EMPOWER SOMERSET in April 2017. The organizations focus on promoting effective leadership through community involvement and empowering citizens to commit to sound lifestyle choices and fostering healthy, drug-free communities. 
Esposito is also a member of the Somerset Hills YMCA Special Needs Parent Committee, supporting and advocating for families and guardians of adults with special needs.

He has over 25 years of experience in the alternative investment industry and is currently a partner in ManagementPlus Group. 

Surano, newly appointed this year to the Bernards Township Planning Board, is a lifelong resident of Bernards Township. He previously served on the Bernards Township Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Surano is an active volunteer in the Republican Party and a member of the Rotary Club of Bernardsville/Somerset Hills and the Fraternal Order of Eagles. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Widener University in Pennsylvania and is an insurance agent with Liberty Mutual Insurance. 

“Joe and I look forward to meeting residents and families and hearing their concerns. We are committed to maintaining the longstanding traditions of fiscal conservatism and low taxes, while being open to change that will benefit our community,” Surano said in the press release. “I am excited for our campaign kickoff on Saturday and hope to greet old friends and meet new ones.” 

The Republican candidates said they will be will be out in the community during the campaign, seeking a fresh approach to connecting with citizens of Bernards Township. They said they will be seeking an opportunity to hear from residents about what is important to the Basking Ridge community.

Special invited guests next Saturday will include US Congressman Leonard Lance (R-7th district), NJ Senator Tom Kean, Jr., (R-21st district) NJ Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz and Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, both Republicans from district 21,, Sheriff Frank Provenzano, Surrogate Frank Bruno, Freeholder Director Patrick Scaglione, Freeholder Deputy Director Brian Levine and Freeholders Mark Caliguire, Patricia Walsh, and Brian Gallagher, Somerset County Republican Chairman Al Gaburo, former Freeholder Director Peter Palmer and members of the Bernards Township Committee. Coffee and light fare will be served.