PEAPACK AND GLADSTONE NJ - At tonight's council meeting, Peapack-Gladstone Borough Council President Anthony Suriano announced that he will not seek a fourth term on the governing body. Suriano told his surprised colleagues that he will complete his current term, which expires on December 31, 2017.
"My focus now is to get back in front of the classroom, and to spend more time with my family," Suriano explained to the other members of the governing body. "I have enjoyed my time on the council, and I have learned a lot."
The end of his term will bring an end to over a two decades of volunteer service to the community. Suriano served twelve years on the Land Use Board and is in his ninth year on the Borough Council. His decision will also begin the scramble to find a qualified candidate to replace him. Suriano has been a strong leader of the council, serving both as Council President and Chairman of the Finance Committee.
Suriano's Republican running mate, Councilman Roy Smith, has already announced that he will seek a second term on the borough council. Smith will again seek the Republican nomination for Borough Council.
Suriano has been the top vote-getter each time he has run, and is considered by many to be "unbeatable". When he first ran as an independent Republican in the Republican primary in 2008 against an incumbent councilman and the then-chair of the Republican Committee, he won by a large margin. He won again by a large margin in 2011.
Suriano led the council during a period of change. Between 2011 and 2014, the borough elected a new mayor and five new members of the Borough Council.
The Peapack-Gladstone Republican Committee will interview potential candidates for the position on March 27, 2017. The filing deadline for candidates for the Republican or Democrat Party nominations is April 3.