Kanitra team wins draw for first GOP ballot position

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Point Beach Municipal Clerk Eileen Farrell displays Councilman Paul Kanitra's winning slip in a drawing for the June 4 Republican mayoral ballot. PHOTO BY MARK R. SULLIVAN

POINT PLEASANT BEACH — With Municipal Clerk Eileen Farrell doing the drawing, Point Pleasant Beach Republicans for Change secured the first available column, Column B, on the June 4 Ocean County Republican Primary Election ballot Friday.

Point Pleasant Beach Republicans for Change is the campaign slogan of Councilman Paul Kanitra, who is challenging Mayor Stephen Reid for the party’s endorsement to run for mayor.

Mayor Reid’s team, Point Pleasant Beach Republicans, was drawn second, securing Column C in the upcoming primary election.

Only a handful of people were present for the drawing held April 12 promptly at 3 p.m. in council chambers. Neither Mayor Reid nor Councilman Kanitra were present.

However, Doug Vitale, a candidate for borough council on the Kanitra team, observed the drawing as did Dan Scharfenberger, who said he is campaign manager for Point Pleasant Beach Republicans for Change. The slate also includes Arlene Testa, who is running for one of the two council seats up for election.

The Reid team includes current council members Thomas Toohey and Thomas Vogel, who are running for re-election.

Before the drawing, Ms. Farrell explained the name of each slate had been written on an index card, which she placed in a covered cardboard box from which she drew. She said Friday was the final day the drawing could be held, according to county board of elections regulations, which specify the drawing must be held no later than 3 p.m. on the 53rd day prior to the primary.She said the results would be immediately transmitted to the county.

Friday’s drawing was ordered by Judge Marlene Lynch Ford, who at an April 10 hearing in county court, nullified the results of voting by the Point Pleasant Beach Regular Republican Club on March 25 that narrowly endorsed Mayor Reid over Councilman Kanitra, saying the vote was flawed by “so many irregularities” that a new vote could be warranted. However, with the primary less than two months away, Judge Ford ruled the two slates would compete in an open primary for the Republican nomination.

The ruling meant that neither candidate would appear on the official GOP line on the June 4 primary ballot.

For more on this story, read next week's edition of The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.