|By JOANNE L. PAPAIANNI
In a unique show of shared support two area elected officials from different political parties have decided to forego party politics and host a bi-partisan, joint fundraiser for Asbury Park Mayor John Moor and Councilman Jesse Kendle who are each seeking reelection in November.
Freeholder Thomas Arnone, a Republican, and Sen. Vin Gopal, a Democrat, offered to host a fundraiser for them.
Election petitions are not due until the end of August for the non-partisan November election and thus far Moor and Kendle are the only residents who have filed.
Mayor Moor was delighted with the offer.
“It’s the first time ever,” Moor said. “It’s fantastic, they’re both friends of mine.”
Moor said both Arnone and Gopal had mentioned to him that they would be willing to host campaign fundraisers.
“I suggested they have it together,” he said.
Moor said he is hoping politicians in the state and country would follow suit and reach across the aisle in a spirit of cooperation.
“If we can do this in Monmouth County, maybe in Trenton and Washington, DC they can learn from it. You can cross the aisle,” he said.
Moor also said the idea highlights the city’s success in recent years.
“It shows their faith in Asbury Park and I thank them for that,” he said.
Freeholder Arnone said although he has hosted fundraisers for Republican candidates this is the first bi-partisan one he has been involved with.
Arnone cited the fact that Asbury Park has a non-partisan mayor and council.
“And if there is a success in one of my 53 municipalities, I support them,” he said.
Speaking of both Moor and Kendle he said, “They have done a great thing there – they have gotten recognition all over the state.”
Arnone also spoke of his deep roots in the city where his grandparents owned two different grocery stores and his grandfather owned a tavern called Blackie’s.
Arnone also said his and his wife’s parents are from Asbury Park and he attended school at Our Lady Mount Carmel.
“It’s the only beach I ever attended. I was there in its heyday and I witnessed the major decline. Now it’s on a big upswing,” he said.
Gopal in a written statement said, ”The bipartisan show of support for Mayor John Moor speaks to his devotion to Asbury Park and his ability to look past party lines to do what is best for the residents of this iconic shore community.
“Mayor Moor has led Asbury Park through an incredible period of growth that has revitalized the local small business community and attracted a new wave of homeowners. I am proud to lend Mayor Moor my support as he seeks re-election and I look forward to all he plans to do to continue to move Asbury Park forward.”
The event is scheduled for Tues., June 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Anchor’s Bend, 1300 Ocean Avenue.
Tickets are: Supporter, $50; Friend, $100; Silver Sponsor, $300 and Gold Sponsor, $500.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Senator Vin Gopal, 97 Apple Street, Tinton Falls.
Checks may also be mailed to Asbury Together, P.O. Box 552, Asbury Park, 07712.