Monmouth County’s Republican primary will be contested as two incumbents and two Republicans for Conservative Leadership candidates vie for the party line on the June 4 ballot for the Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Two seats on the board are open this year — those of Director Thomas A. Arnone and Deputy Director Serena DiMaso, both Republicans who will be on the upcoming ballot.
Republicans for Conservative Leadership Brian Largey and Edward Pekarsky, both from Middletown, will challenge the incumbents in the primary.
The Democratic primary will be uncontested with Brian Froelich of Spring Lake and Lawrence Luttrell of Holmdel running.
Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Independent candidates (as well as school election candidates) have until June 4 to file for the general election.
Republican Candidates Background:
Thomas A. Arnone
Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone was sworn in to a three-year term on the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders on Jan. 6, 2011, according to the county website. Currently serving his third year in office, he became director of the Board of Chosen Freeholders in 2013.
Arnone previously served as an elected official in Neptune City. From 2004 through 2010, while Arnone was mayor, the town council received more than $1.5 million in grants. Arnone was instrumental in the revitalization of underutilized areas in the community, according to the county website.
He is involved statewide as the former president of the New Jersey Conference of Mayors and an active member of the New Jersey League of Municipalities and the State Resolutions Committee and Nominating Committee.
Arnone is a graduate of Neptune High School and attended Brookdale Community College. Since 1983 he has owned and operated a small business in Monmouth County, T. Arnone’s Landscaping. Arnone is currently the Vice President of Property Management at PRC Group, West Long Branch.
Freeholder Arnone and his wife reside in Neptune City with their daughter.
Freeholder Serena DiMaso was sworn in to her first elected term on the Board of Chosen Freeholders on Jan. 3 and named deputy director, according to the county webpage. She was appointed to the board in 2012 to fill the seat vacated by Freeholder Robert Clifton, who became a State Assemblyman to the 12th legislative district in January 2012.
DiMaso served on the Holmdel Township Committee since 2002, and was mayor from 2006 to 2010 and deputy mayor in 2011. During her time in Holmdel, DiMaso supported the preservation of open space in the township. She also has been an advocate for expanding shared services and responsible budgeting, according to the county website.
She currently serves on a number of community groups and is as an active member of the Holmdel First Aid Squad.
Serena DiMaso holds a Juris Doctorate degree from St. John’s University School of Law and is a member of the New York State Bar. She is also a graduate of St. John’s University, College of Business Administration with a B.S. in management with minor concentrations in economics and marketing. She is also a 2004 graduate of the Christine Todd Whitman Excellence in Public Service Series.
Freeholder DiMaso is married to Dr. Gerald DiMaso and they have four children.
Largey is a first time Freeholder candidate and considers himself a “conservative republican.” He believes “spending is out of control” and that “we need a smaller government,” according to his campaign website.
The focus of the Republicans for Conservative Leadership party is lower taxes, pro life and defending second amendment rights.
Largey is a 1986 state police graduate and is employed by the law firm Largey, Largey & Whitehead in Middletown.
Pekarsky, 34, is running for public office for the first time. Born in the Soviet Union, Pekarsky moved to America at an early age but understood the effects of communism, he said.
He was active in Monmouth County’s Young Republicans Club in the 2000s, which at the time was diminishing due to corruption, he said. In 2009, he joined the Bayshore Tea Party, which reinvigorated his interest in being involved in politics on the citizen level.
Pekarsky stands for individual freedoms, a free economy and smaller government, he said. Monmouth County’s budget has grown from $350 million in 2001 to the current $481 million, an increase Pekarsky sees no reason for.
He hopes to cut the level by 3 to 5 percent in his first year as a Freeholder and reallocate money to bring more private businesses into the county to generate more jobs for local residents.
Pekarsky graduated from Hofstra University in 2001 with a degree in International Management. He was in the financial services industry for 10 years and has experience in an analytical research role, studying economies, markets and investments.
Democratic Candidates Background:
Froelich calls the Board of Chosen Freeholders a “Republican monopoly” in which ethical lapses have cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Most recently, he confronted the Freeholders and asked the members to disclose unreportable campaign contributions made by Birdsall Services Group and its employees.
Froelich is an entrepreneur and has been a businessman in both large and small enterprises for decades, according to his campaign website. Brian has also worked as a certified public accountant, as well as an attorney, and he has been active in (and on the Boards of) several civic, business, and charitable organizations.
Froelich and his wife have been married for 45 years and have five children and twelve grandchildren.
In 2012, Luttrell ran for local office in Holmdel and loss the race to a Republican newcomer. At that time, he stood for “accountability over accounting gimmicks” stating that government over estimates its deficit as to appear successful when averting it.
Luttrell graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History. He then completed graduate school at St. Thomas University of Law in Florida. He has been the municipal prosecutor and law clerk for Holmdel and has been employed by the Law Office of Lawrence W. Luttrell, PC, Hightower and Rudd and Uni-Tel Technologies, Inc.