Asbury Park Press Backs Kyrillos, Handlin, and O'Scanlon

Asbury Park Press Backs Kyrillos, Handlin, and O'Scanlon
Back GOP Team in 13th District

The familiar names of the Republican incumbents running for re-election in the 13th Legislative District are familiar for a reason: They have been highly effective, responsive legislators.

We strongly endorse all three of them: Sen. Joseph Kyrillos of Middletown, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon of Little Silver and Assemblywoman Amy Handlin of Middletown. They are dedicated to reducing government spending, reining in public employee benefit abuses and keeping a lid on property taxes.

Their Democratic challengers are Joseph Marques, 57, of Hazlet, a mortgage loan originator and former Hazlet township committeeman, and Assembly candidates Matthew Morehead, 34, a Middletown resident who runs a dog-grooming business, and Allison Friedman, 40, a public defender from Aberdeen who sits on the township’s zoning board.

Kryillos, 53, a commercial real estate broker, is a 22-year veteran of the state Senate. As a steadfast ally of Gov. Chris Christie, he has been one of the strongest voices in Trenton for fiscal restraint and public employee benefit reforms. He had his hand in the 2 percent property tax cap, the pension and health benefit reforms and the teacher tenure reforms. He sponsored the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Planning Authority Act and has been a forceful advocate for municipal consolidation and shared services.

Handlin, 57, an associate professor of marketing at Monmouth University, has focused on health care issues, particularly the looming doctor shortage and implementation of Obamacare, and ethics and benefits reforms.

O’Scanlon, 50, who runs a telecommunications consulting company, is one of the most engaged, tireless lawmakers in Trenton. As the Assembly Republican budget officer, he has worked closely with Christie to bring about the state’s badly needed pension and health reforms. And his campaign against New Jersey’s red-light camera program has garnered statewide support.

For those unhappy with either of the two Assembly incumbents, Friedman provides an excellent alternative. She might well be the strongest Democratic challenger in any of the six Shore-area legislative races.

Friedman has clearly articulated ideas and suggestions that would benefit both the poor and middle class in New Jersey, including the need for bail reform to limit the cost to Monmouth County of incarcerating people accused of low-level crimes who cannot afford to post bail.

The two other Democrats on the ticket are long on Christie bashing and short on political experience and ideas the Republicans are not already pursuing.

The incumbents in the 13th District, as O’Scanlon puts it, are “in the thick of things.” They have made major contributions toward steering the state back on the right course. Voters would be well-served by re-electing them.