Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Vincent Barrella announced Monday that he will run for re-election for a second, four-year term, but without asking for an endorsement from the local Republican club.
Neither piece of news is shocking, considering that Barrella battled long and hard against a recall effort in November, which would lead most people to believe he did that to stick around a lot longer than one year.
As for not seeking the GOP endorsement, the recall was supported by pillars of the local GOP organization, such as club president Stephen Reid, who also ran against Barrella this past November, and Councilman Sean Hennessy.
Hennessy announced a few weeks ago that he will not run for re-election.
He emphasized that the need to spend more time with his young family was the primary reason.
However, he added that if Barrella had been recalled, he may have run.
However, not all active Republicans were on the recall bandwagon.
Republican Councilwoman Kristine Tooker, who won re-election this past November, was against the recall.
She said at a recent meeting, "The mayor never should have been put through that."
Barrella said, in a prepared statement, “Whether I run in a Republican primary or as an Independent is something I will decide over the next few weeks."
"Regardless, I think the people of Point Pleasant Beach, whether they be Republican, Democratic or Independent, recognize that my only purpose in running is to represent our common interest in pulling our town through hard times without sacrificing the services we have rightfully come to expect,” he continued.
“The time has hopefully passed when a small group of people, out-of-step with the tenor of the town, seek to push forward their own agenda," he said." As long as I hold public office I will continue to listen to the public and do what is right for them, not the chosen few."
Candidates seeking to run for office with the endorsement of the Republican Club were to submit their applications no later than Feb. 11.
“It was a difficult decision for me to make," Barrella said. "But it has become apparent to me and others that there are those within the Republican Club who refuse to recognize that the harsh economic times we are experiencing leave no room for continuing the failed policies and practices of the past.”
In a classic example of the bickering that goes on between Hennessy, some other council members and Barrella, Hennessy had thrown similar types of barbs against Barrella when Hennessy announced he is not running.
Hennessy had said in an interview Barrella was not sensitive enough to the plight of residents who have lost jobs or possibly face foreclosure.
Barrella also said in his statement, “I may be outspoken, but there is no way I can conceal from our residents that we face enormous problems in reaching our state-mandated goal of a balanced budget both this year and in the future.
"I am prepared to make those tough decisions, with our residents’ welfare in mind," he said.
"My open and direct approach to our problems has not been embraced by those in control of the Republican Club, nor has my belief that we need to
put the interests of our taxpayers and residents first,” he said.
Barrella also defeated Democrat John Dixon in a mayoral contest that would have become effective had the recall election been successful.