HOLMDEL, NJ - An eclectic coalition of lawyers, elected officials, campaign supporters and other professionals gathered at Patricia's, a local eatery in Holmdel, for an expensive, lightly attended, $500 per ticket political fund-raiser Wednesday.
Patricia's, typically known to host Republican fundraisers, had a change of pace, welcoming newly installed Independent Candidates who were on hand with Assemblywoman Dimaso, Democratic State Committee Conference attendee Kin Gee, Senator Declan O’Scanlon and lead investigator of Holmdel’s former Administrator, Assemblyman Sean Kean. Assemblyman Kean billed Holmdel over $50,000.00 during 2019 to investigate senior township employees and the Mayor.
The diverse group was there, according to posts and photos in one of the local political Facebook pages, to support Mayor Greg Buontempo and Committeeman Rocco Pascucci, as the two Republicans are up for re-election this year.
Township attorney Michael Collins attended the $500 per ticket political fundraiser as well as a host of others professionals who were just appointed for township positions such as Municipal Prosecutor, Township Attorney and Labor Attorney. All were enmeshed in a chaotic 2019.
Collins was involved in drafting the censure against former Republican Mayor Eric Hinds in 2019, and investigating the Administrator and other personnel. Hinds is now suing the town over the matter, arguing it was a violation of the Open Public Meetings Act.
The 2019 election, incredibly, continues in a recount mode as the election is not yet settled - there are two votes separating the second and third candidates Liu and Santhana. Liu filed for a recount that is not yet complete. If she loses it is status quo as Santhana was sworn in to office. If she finds three votes, she will swap with Santhana.
While Pascucci and Buontempo have not announced their candidacies - they will have a running start from local professionals in their first big and early fundraiser. Pascucci previously stated that he expects no Republican support from the county. He certainly has it from the elected officials at Patricia's.