UPDATE: Lurie Not Running to Focus More on Career
Sharon Cadalzo. Barry Moffett, George Loder, Stephen Reid and Andy Cortes filed to run
Democrat Tim Lurie, who ran for mayor last year, until he wasn't, is not running for re-election to Point Beach Borough Council, but Democrat Sharon Cadalzo is running, according to two officials in the local Democratic party.
Early Monday evening, Lurie confirmed he is not running, saying he needs to focus more on his professional career as a partner with DW Smith, an engineering firm.
However, Lurie, a Gowdy Avenue resident, has been working there for years. So what changed?
"Nothing changed," he said. "It's just time for me to move on and deal with my professional career. I've served three terms. I've had the pleasure of serving under three mayors. It's time for someone else to have a turn."
He said the amount of time spent on council meetings has become excessive and he would rather use those evening hours on other pursuits, including possible additional professional education and training.
"I may go for an architect's license," he said. "And I would rather use that night time for that."
"The meetings used to end at 9 and they were a pleasure," Lurie said.
"The meetings only got long under Vinny," he added, referring to Mayor Vincent Barrella. The two have become political adversaries.
Earlier on Monday, Nick Mazzola, who is vice president of the local Democratic club and who ran unsuccessfully for council last year, and John S. Morrongiello Jr., Democratic club president, said they knew Lurie was not running, but that he had not given them a reason.
Barry Moffett, Ocean Avenue, and Cadalzo, Atlantic Avenue, are the Democrats running in the June 5 primary for two, three-year council seats, Mazzola and Morrongiello said.
Cadalzo, who is running in Point Beach for the first time, is a former municipal employee, but is best known for her successful legal action against the town for what had been its practice of saying "The Lord's Prayer" at the start of meetings.
After a long, expensive legal battle, a judge ruled in favor of Cadalzo, who was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, and also ordered the town to pay the ACLU $11,000 in legal fees.
That was a fraction of what the ACLU requested, but the organization responded that it was just glad the court action resulted in the town changing its prayer policy.
Since then, the town began using a more generic prayer, without any reference to any specific faith.
Morrongiello said Moffett is a businessman who owns "an insurance company, a pool hall and race horses."
The deadline to run in the June primary was at 4 p.m. today at Borough Hall. By that time, Cadalzo, Moffett, George Loder, Stephen Reid, New Jersey Avenue, and Andy Cortes, Washington Avenue, had filed with the Point Beach Borough Clerk's office to run.
George Loder, who is a registered Republican, has filed to run as an "Independent Republican," under the motto, "Putting Residents and Taxpayers First," said Municipal Clerk Maryann Ellsworth.
Loder could not immediately be reached for comment to elaborate on why he is using the term "Independent Republican." He is challenging Stephen Reid and Andy Cortes who have been endorsed by the local Republican Club.
Cortes ran unsuccessfully last year for council. Reid narrowly missed being elected mayor last year.
Reid is on council now, having been appointed to a seat vacated by Jeff Dyer, who resigned as a councilman last year.
When asked to comment on the challenge by Loder, Reid said in an email on Monday afternoon: "There's no such thing as an Independent Republican. You're either a Republican or not.
"I am not surprised that George Loder is running. George is nothing more than Mayor Barrella's lackey," Reid continued. "It looks as though George was the only one the Mayor could get to run against me. I look forward to discussing issues as well as one's character in this year's spring primary."
Candidates running as true "Independents" do not run in any primary and have until the date of the June 5 primary to file with the Ocean County Clerk's office to run in the general election.
Barrella and Councilman Bret Gordon ran successfully as Independents last year. The other winner this past November was Wiliam Mayer.
When asked if he is considering moving out of town, Lurie replied, "It's not for me to say what the future holds."
When asked if he will run again, he said, "Never say never."