THE REFORM DEMOCRATIC TEAM HISTORY Marlboro Democrats Make a New Beginning
Following the news breaking of former Republican Marlboro Mayor Matthew Scannapieco’s corruption investigation, arrest and guilty plea and after the November 2004 Township Council Elections, a few Marlboro residents met, and together, decided that in order to bring honesty and respectability back to the local government in Marlboro, drastic action was necessary. These individuals decided to form a new and innovative political club whose goal was to bring back honesty, integrity and openness to municipal government. In December 2004, the Reform Democratic Club of Marlboro was formed. Widespread press coverage of the event hailed this “new” organization as the possible means to make significant change in Marlboro and the break from the past that was exactly what the political landscape in Marlboro needed.
Following the formation of the Reform Democrats, former township officials, both Republican and Democrat were investigated, arrested and charged with corruption, bribery and misuse of their trusted positions. In June 2005, the Reform Democratic Club decided to run its candidates in a Primary against the “Old Guard Democratic Machine”. Recognized as an organization comprised of fresh new people bent on reforming the “same old politics of the past”, the Reform Democratic club and their candidates received the endorsement of Senator Ellen Karcher, Assemblyman Michael Panter, Congressman Rush Holt and Congressman Frank Pallone. Through their showing of support, the Monmouth County Democratic Party, through Chairman Victor Scudiery, awarded this new Democratic group the official Party line and its full support in the primary. The Marlboro Democratic voters responded in kind and voted for the Reform Candidates by a 3-1 margin. This was the first time in Marlboro history a political group, not yet six months old, organized, received the Party’s endorsement and went on to win a contested primary. Throughout the Summer and Fall of 2005, the Reform Democratic Club and its candidates ran an issue oriented “grass roots” campaign. Campaign contributions came in from individuals excited to see a new beginning to the Democratic Party. Even then U.S. Senator Jon Corzine, running for his successful bid to be Governor, appeared at the Reform Democratic Club’s first major fundraiser and again, later in the campaign, appeared at the Robertsville Firehouse to lend his support to this new group. In its first election, our candidates lost to the Republican incumbent team. One candidate lost by 15 votes and the other two were both within 200 votes of election. The Reform Democrats were outspent by nearly 3-1 and yet made a spectacular showing. Only a fake “newspaper” written by the Republican campaign managers and funded by their candidates, entitled the “Marlboro Monitor” which falsely claimed that the Reform Democrats were linked to the very people we rebelled against, was sent to residents the Monday before the election was said to have made the difference.
As of June 2006, with full support from the Monmouth County Democratic Party our United States Congressmen and the leaders of the Democratic Party in New Jersey, our State Senator Ellen Karcher, Assemblyman Michael Panter, Freeholder Barbara McMorrow and countless Marlboro residents, the Reform Democratic Club and its leadership were recognized as the official Democratic Party in Marlboro winning all our County Committee seats uncontested.
On April 9, 2007 The Reform Democratic Party announced its 2007 slate for Marlboro Mayor and two Council seats. The Party unanimously nominated Jonathan Hornik for Mayor, Frank LaRocca and Randi Marder for Council. Immediately following the June primary, the candidates started the campaign in earnest and began to walk different neighborhoods around Marlboro. The reaction to Hornik, LaRocca and Marder has been overwhelmingly positive by voters from all affiliations and they have begun to commit to the Democratic ticket this early in the campaign season.
With your help, your involvement and financial assistance, in November, 2007 Marlboro residents elected their first Democratic Mayor in 16 years. On behalf of the Reform Democratic Club of Marlboro and the Reform Democratic Party, we wish to express our appreciation for your support in bringing good government back to MarlboroTownship.