Shutzer, Griffiths Win Democratic Primary in Freehold Borough

Three candidates sought the Democratic line for two Borough Council seats on November's ballot.

Freehold Borough Board of Education member Daniel Xavier fell short in his bid to be a Democratic nominee for Borough Council.

Xavier, incumbent Councilwoman Sharon Shutzer and Ron Griffiths squared off in the municipality's first contested primary in 37 years. With all districts reporting, Shutzer and Griffiths, running on the Freehold Borough Democratic Party line, received 398 votes, according to the Freehold Borough Clerk's Office. Xavier received 109 votes.

"I feel humbled," Shutzer said after learning the results of the primary. "I think this process has really energized our party."

Griffiths, who was also with Shutzer, when the results were announced said that he is thrilled with the results as well.

Shutzer and Griffiths will face Republicans MaryAnne Earle and incumbent Councilman John Newman in the general election. Two Borough Council seats, each for three-year terms, are up in the November vote.

C Hauser June 06, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Congratulations to ron and sharon. You have proven that running a clean campaign with grace and integrity will provide a well earned victory . As for candidate Xavier, the borough democrats have spoken through their votes resulting in your earned loss. We look forward to seeing the same result when you run for school board reelection . I'll expect local democrats to be contacting ELEC advising about the many infractions that your campaign has engaged in . if you going to play in the big leagues you gotta follow big league rules .
Michele June 06, 2012 at 09:16 AM
Dude. This is a Boro election, not the big leagues. Get some perspective. Good job Dan for shaking up the system. I believe that you have set the stage for even stronger challenges to the status quo in all coming elections.
Mike June 06, 2012 at 10:58 AM
Michele, You make a good point, Dan COULD have set the stage but his actions lowered himself to the level of another Freehold failed council seeking wacko in Ted Miller. There is no place in the Boro for the Millers and Xaviers of this world! Little has anyone said but Dan actually has handed the GOP ammo against Griffin, which ultimately hurts his party....Oh well, what can you do!
Jane Healton June 06, 2012 at 11:07 AM
Without Dan there would have been no debate at all. No discussion of any issues. Apparently the usual method of campaigning in Freehold Borough is so smooth and low key that no one is let in on issues and not many vote, which favors the private partisan clubs' and commitees' personal picks. If it takes people that the likes of Mike or Hauser prefer to call wackos to get a crack opened in the smooth exterior of their political machines then I am all for the odd candidate who blindsides the establishment.
Kevin Asadi June 06, 2012 at 11:23 AM
This was a victory for everyone who believes in the democratic process selecting candidates, rather than shady backroom meetings. Dan set the stage for primary challenges every year in the Boro, and did so with extreme class in the face of condescending opponents and long odds. I salute Dan for this and expect to hear from him again. Mike it is easy to mock Ted Miller, but think about this...if it weren't for his efforts year after year to mount a challenge, we probably don't have John Newman, who is one of our most outstanding councilmen.
Mike June 06, 2012 at 11:49 AM
Kevin, Dan certainly set the stage for primaries, I give him all the credit in the world for that. He also played the game a little dirty, to the point Sharon and Kevin had to come out and speak against his actions. People in the fire department stated Dan will "step on whoever" to get what he wants, with this campaign, he certainly did not prove them wrong! I don't believe Ted had anything to do with John Newman winning his seat. I think John Newman won his seat. John separated himself from Ted at the end of the campaign and worked his tail off. I for one, certainly will not lie and say I was a Newman supporter, but he has become a bright star in Freehold politics! John, unlike Dan, ran a smooth campaign and left the "dirty" bs alone and was rewarded. I think Dan left people with a bad taste in there mouth. I give him credit for trying, I really do. In the end, the voters spoke and it wasnt for Dan! Hopefully, the "d" and "r' can learn from this and run a calm, campaign based on facts in November, maybe even a debate. We shall see! It boils down to in small town politics, partys mean nothing, ideas and solutions mean the world. If Dan feels he stands a chance and really is serious about this, he can run as an independent.
Judi Guy June 06, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Setting the state for primary challenges is a good thing as is shaking up the system, but the backroom shady meetings, underhanded tactics and "lowering of standards" belong to Dan Xavier. Kudos to Shutzer and Griffiths for sticking to the issues and finding solutions rather than pointing fingers. If you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. The debate and polls showed that Shutzer and Griffiths did their homework, have the expierience AND knowledge to move the Borough in the right direction.
Marc LeVine June 06, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Losers are ALWAYS winners because they had the guts to come away from their TV sets, put their personal reputations in harm's way and do it all in the name of DEMOCRACY. Dan deserves a standing ovation!
Marc LeVine June 06, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Suggestion for The Patch. Can you add LIKE buttons to people's comments?
Marc LeVine June 06, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Thank you Dan Xavier for your experiment in Democracy. Hold your head high. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Your name and your views (agreed with or not) are now better known to all. It's very difficult to overcome a local party's loyal base and bring the casual voter into the mix. In retrospect, this was a great political cycle for Freehold. Because of you, the debate has started earlier than ever and you, Sharon and Ron engaged our residents in a great way. Now, it it time to put all differences aside and unite our party. Best of luck to Sharon and Ron AND to John and Marianne, too.
Mike June 06, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Marc, I agree that Dan deserves credit for running! My question is about how he ran, obviously, his own party felt disrespected by his hand out, he questioned the integrity of his party by making it look like Ron doesn't even live in Freehold, this doesn't sit well with his party. All in all, Dan does deserve credit for being active, sad that he tarnished it with his antics!
Marc LeVine June 06, 2012 at 02:25 PM
@Mike. Was the recently concluded national Republican primary much better? Campaigning in any sort of election process is tough. I wish things would remain "gentlemanly" all of the time - but they don't. Mitt Romney spent a ton of money to "beat up" on Newt Gingrich in a very negative way. I am not a big fan of Newt, but Romney crossed the line at times. Why so many seem to statistically appreciate negative campaining, I don't know. If they didn't, it would go away. Problem is that inevitably someone launches an attack on someone's character and candidates feel compelled to respond. Look, no one in the local Dems was happy that Dan broke with local tradition and ran against their choices despite not being selected as his party's anointed. I could have done the same thing, but my past, direct involvement/service within my party made me feel obligated NOT to run on my own. Dan had no such complex history or personal commitment. No one should be angry with Dan's questioning of Ron. His concern was valid and Ron HAD to respond to it for better or worse. We are all better off having this one put to bed.
Jane Healton June 06, 2012 at 03:11 PM
I agree with Marc. Suggestion; sometimes I write things that I later realize are simply me being self-centered and verbally abusive. I go back and push the delete button so I can be at peace with myself. This is my invitation for all the name callers to exercise the same option. This is time for the Boro to move forward.
Kevin Asadi June 06, 2012 at 03:51 PM
There is no reason for anyone to ever get into name-calling. Worthwhile discussion of important issues requires that it be carried out in a respectful way. It is okay to discuss disagreements. It is not okay to assault the conversation with ad hominem attacks. I am thankful that this primary season was handled by nearly everyone in a respectful way, as far as I saw. And I did not notice you being verbally abusive towards anyone, Jane. If the worst offenses during the campaign were Shutzer calling Xavier "Idealistic" and Xavier endorsing Shutzer (without her permission), then I think the entire country can learn a thing or two from our little town!
Jane Healton June 06, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Thanks Kevin but you didn't read the ones I deleted. Comes of having a warrior personality I guess. My point is that if the only reason a thing is being written is for a feeling of self-righteousness it need not be written. I too think that the election debate and fall out with a few exceptions were very civil. Which is why I am puzzled by the need some have shown to keep the negatives going. Forward Freehold Borough!
Kirsten Raymond June 07, 2012 at 02:12 AM
All else aside, and I promise not to delve into it beyond this, Dan doesn't deserve to be compared to Ted Miller. Ted is one person who hopefully will remain both one-of-a-kind and, going forward, silent.


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