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Freehold Borough to Have First Contested Primary in Over Fifteen Years

There are three Democrats vying for their name on the 2012 Freehold Borough Council ballot.

will have its first contested primary in over almost two decades this June.

According to Traci DiBenedetto, the borough clerk, there are two Borough Council seats open. Both Sharon Shutzer (D) and John Newman’s (R) terms are expiring. There are two Republicans and three Democrats vying for those seats as of the April 2 primary election filing deadline.

DiBenedetto took the time to check into Freehold Borough’s previous election records looking for the last contested primary.

"I was able to go back on the Primary Election ballots to 1996 and didn’t find a contested election. The retention period for election returns and petitions is 5 years so my files don’t go back that far. But, I was able to find sample ballots," she explained in an e-mail to Patch.

For the Republicans, Newman will seek re-election and MaryAnn Earle will try to win a seat on the council.

Newman is the only Republican currently serving on the governing body and is looking to serve his second term. Earle is a Freehold resident for over 50 years. She challenged Democratic incumbents George Schnurr and Michael DiBenedetto in the 2011 elections, and lost. Click to read more about her.

For the Democrats, Sharon Shutzer will run for re-election to her 8th term on the council. Ron Griffiths and Daniel Xavier are both seeking their first term, making this the first contested primary in 16 years.

Sharon Shutzer has served the borough since 1992. Shutzer , President of the Freehold Borough Housing Corporation and a longtime resident of Freehold Borough. Xavier is a marketing professional, eight-year resident of Freehold Borough and an active member. Click to read more about his decision to run.

The primary election will take place this June.

Can you remember the last contested primary? Tell us about it below in the comments!

Marc LeVine April 05, 2012 at 04:47 PM
The last contested primary probably dates back into the mid-80's at the latest and may involve former Democrat turned Independent and turned Republican Donald DeSanto. Don is also known as the last independent to run as an Independent for a Council seat. He didn't win, but he got a great deal of votes.

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