MIDDLETOWN, NJ - Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger has become known as a popular official in republican circles. It is evidenced by his continued election and re-elections.
Previously, a long serving Middletown Township Committeeman and Mayor and Monmouth County Freeholder (Commissioner), he now sits as a New Jersey State Assemblyman. Known as a cordial yet tenacious legislator, he hit the ground running with an active legislative calendar even though he serves in a state controlled by the opposite political party. Scharfenberger hails from a politically stable town in Middletown that, even though it comprises nearly 65,000 residents, hums along fairly quietly.
His legislative partner is Serena DiMaso. She is another long term elected official, including serving several terms as Holmdel Township Committeewoman, Mayor and also a Monmouth County Freeholder (Commissioner). She also now sits as a New Jersey State Assemblywoman as Assemblyman Scharfenberger's peer in District 13 in New Jersey. That is where the similarities appear to end.
Holmdel, where Dimaso moved to years ago from Staten Island, has not had an easy time of it politically in recent years. As reported during several election cycles, this well-to-do community has had some infighting and other difficulties in recent years and particularly in the local political party structure. DiMaso has publicly supported candidates against the folks chosen by Shaun Golden and the Holmdel and Monmouth County Republican Committee (the local political organizations). One of them just won election after Golden did not offer support. This placed the Assemblywoman at political odds in her locale with Golden.
She is now up for re-election and may be on her own. According to reporting by David Wildstein, Publisher of New Jersey Globe, "DiMaso and Golden have sparred in local races in the assemblywoman’s hometown of Holmdel, where she served as mayor. In 2019 and 2020, she backed local slates running off the line against Golden-endorsed candidates."
"Multiple sources closely tied to the Monmouth GOP have confirmed that Monmouth County Republican Chairman Shaun Golden is pursuing another candidate to run for Assembly in the 13th legislative district." writes Wildstein.
Scharfenberger has an office on his own in Middletown. DiMaso shares space with Senator Declan OScanlon in Holmdel.