I had the pleasure of visiting the Somerset County Clerk’s office yesterday, where I reviewed the nomination petitions for Sheriff and Freeholder. Not surprisingly, Somerset County Sheriff Candidate Tim Pino had overwhelming support on his petition with 291 signatures. Comparing Tim’s total to his primary opponent William ‘Bill’ Parenti - who only had 164 signatures- this number has to jump out to the Republican Primary voting base. Considering the access Bill Parenti had with all of the Republican Municipal Committees all around the county for several months, compared to my running mate’s very limited access, for Tim to almost double Bill’s petition number speaks volumes.
Republican voters need to be cognizant that the county races this year are more important than ever. The control of both the Board of Chosen Freeholders and Sheriff’s Office (as well as the County Jail) hang in the balance. Given his 20+ years experience working at the Sheriff’s Office, where he was promoted “4” times along with being the Canine Unit Commander, Tim Pino is the clear choice to save Somerset County taxpayers money from Day 1 on the job.
Many voters have expressed concerns about affordability and the failure to elect the strongest qualified primary candidates will likely add further to this misery. Beyond this it is not enough for Republicans to solely choose candidates that can fulfill roles. Are they making appreciable gains to grow the party? Are they growing the base? Are they making the party welcome to all? Do they bring synergy to the party? Here too Tim Pino has a commanding lead and has shown he can win in November and save the party.
Members of the public have begun noticing the “We Want Tim” signs around the county. You’ll have a chance to get him on June 4. I hope you make the right choice, for both party and our county.
Robert A. Quinn is a Republican candidate for Somerset County Freeholder; Primary day is June 4.