Posted on Thursday, Mar.
Twp. Republicans unveil candidates
By Drew Ciccotelli; Correspondent
Gloucester Township Republican Municipal Committee has unveiled their
candidates for this year's township council race.Republicans and select
Democrats alike turned out on March 12 at the Freeway Golf Course to see
the Republican pick for this year's upcoming council race.
Kept under wraps until Thursday night, the slate includes Mayor Cindy
Rau-Hatton, incumbent Councilwoman Shelley Lovett, former Councilwoman
Maureen McLaughlin, and former Gloucester Township Board of Education
member John Custodio.
McLaughlin and Custodio hope to unseat Democratic council members Dan
Hutchison and Franklin Schmidt, whose terms are expiring. Newcomer
Michelle Gentek is also part of the Democratic ticket.
It was also revealed that former Democratic councilman Eugene Lawrence
would run as the Republican candidate in the 4th District assembly race.
Nearly 60 supporters turned out to the event, including party leaders and
council members from past and present. Current Democratic Councilwoman
Crystal Evans was also in attendance to witness a speech given by Lawrence
on the state of affairs.
"We need to break the stranglehold of a government who doesn't care about
the people who voted for them," Lawrence said. "It's time for a government
that cares about its people, it's time for change, not rhetoric, not
promises. We have got to hold people accountable, now we have to make that
change and that change begins tonight."
Amid 30 years of one party control, the selected Republican candidates
echoed Lawrence's message, a need for change and a need to work together.
"It is my belief that council is out of touch with the town, with its
citizens," Custodio said. "I feel that it is our duty to open up the
government, create more transparency, a re-establish a government that
belongs to the people. Council can't solve all problems, but at least by
working together with the mayor we can try to solve some."
Former councilwoman McLaughlin talked about change.
"The people I'm working with love Gloucester Township and want to bring it
together to make a difference that's better for the residents," McLaughlin
said. "Right now, that's not happening."
Party leaders such as Richard DeMichele, chairman of the Camden County
Republican Committee and Ray Polidoro, chairman of the Gloucester Township
Republican Municipal Committee expressed confidence in the candidates.
"We want people to understand that what drives this town is council and
what we need is a council that listens and responds to the voters and it
is my belief that this ticket will do just that," DeMichele said.
Polidoro spoke of candidates as people with much to offer the residents of
"These folks will bring a lot of experience to council, they represent a
cross section of every type of person in this town," Polidoro said. "With
these candidates we have somebody who represents us in the present, one
that will help us with our future and someone who has represented us well
in the past."
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