UPDATED STORY: Tim Lurie Says He is Running for Point Beach Mayor
Lurie gets 10 write-in votes; only needed four to run for mayor
Point Beach Councilman Timothy Lurie confirmed on Wednesday morning that he is running for mayor, which he is eligible to do because he received 10 votes as a Democratic write-in candidate in the recent primary, according to the Ocean County Clerk's office.
Lurie made a brief phone call to Patch Wednesday morning, but said he would not be able to discuss details until later in the day.
He made the call only after refusing to talk to Patch in the early evening on Monday and not returning two phone calls placed to his cell phone on Tuesday morning and Tuesday evening.
One of Lurie's running mates, Nick Mazzola, who is running as a Democrat for borough council, said on Tuesday night, "If he has enough (write-in) votes, he's running.
"We had a Democratic meeting the Thursday before the primary and he said he wants to be mayor," Mazzola said. "He said if he gets enough votes, he'll run."
When asked why Lurie had not filed as a primary candidate and run, with his name on the ballot, Mazzola said, "That's a good question. I don't know the answer. I think in a few days this will all be clarified."
In addition to battling Mayor Vincent Barrella, Lurie would also go up against Republican Stephen Reid who lost narrowly to Barrella last year.
Barrella, a registered Republican, is running for re-election as an Independent for the second consecutive year.
During the past several months, Lurie has often been at odds with Barrella, Democratic Councilman Michael Corbally and Councilwoman Kristine Tooker, especially on issues regarding proposed amusement games and special event fees for Jenkinson's.
Barrella said in a prepared statement, "I welcome the addition of Councilman Lurie to this year's race for mayor, and I am sure the boardwalk businesses do as well, as they now have two proponents running for mayor."
Barrella added, "I will continue to represent the interests of all our residents and taxpayers and not just those of the powerful few.
"In recent months, Lurie has aligned himself on council with Republican Councilmen (Jeff) Dyer and (Sean) Hennessy," Barrella said. "This has prompted many to speculate that he was preparing to switch his party allegiance for a fourth time."
Barrella said Lurie has switched his party affiliation a few times in the past.
"Furthermore, in 2006, Lurie resigned his council seat forcing a special election."
Barrella said, "I hope that if Councilman Lurie prevails in November, he will not again abandon Point Pleasant Beach."
Barrella concluded, "I am heartened by the fact that despite the active efforts of former Democratic Councilman Mike DiCiccio, now a resident of Red Bank, to drum up support for Mr. Lurie through a primary-eve, automated telephone call made to all Point Beach Democrats, fewer than a dozen Democrats wrote-in Mr. Lurie's name."
DiCiccio, chairman of the Point Beach Democratic club, could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday night.
Mazzola said, "I'm not sure if Mike moved to Red Bank, but I know he moved."
Mazzola said he's thrilled Lurie is running for mayor.
"I love the guy, I think he's a fantastic choice," said Mazzola, who said he's been attending recent council meetings.
"He always comes through with the right decisions," Mazzola said.
Lurie is an engineer and partner at DW Smith Associates in Farmingdale and received his certified municipal engineer's certificate last September.
Democratic incumbent councilman Frank Rizzo, who could not be reached for comment on Tuesday night, is running for re-election.
Hennessy is not running for re-election.
Republican newcomers William Mayer and Andy Cortes are running for council on Reid's slate.
Reid said, "Tim is a very good guy and I look forward to him running. I agree with most of his positions. I'm not running against Tim. I'm running against Barrella."
When asked what makes him a better mayoral candidate than Lurie, Reid said, "You have to look at Tim's overall voting record, not just the last few months. I have great relationships with mayors, council members, members of Congress. This mayor doesn't. And I don't think Tim does."
Reid said a lot of his political contacts are through his job as a public affairs consultant and partner in the firm of Capital Public Affairs in Princeton.
Barrella is running with former Board of Education member Phyllis Thomson and former US Naval Base Commanding Officer Captain Bret Gordon.
Kitty Stillufsen, who is manager of Red's Lobster Pot, is running as an Independent, but not on Barrella's slate.
Barrella also announced on Tuesday evening that former longtime Democratic Councilwoman Monica Walsh and current Republican Councilwoman Tooker have agreed to co-chair the Barrella, Gordon & Thomson campaign.
"Phyllis, Bret and I are thrilled that two distinguished public servants like Monica and Kris have joined our team," said Barrella.