Township GOP Submits Candidates To Replace Levine For 2015

Council will probably choose at Jan. 13 meeting.


Bob LaCorte, Raleigh Steinhauer and Chris Kelly, left to right, are contending for the one-year unexpired term of former Mayor Brian Levine.

Township Republicans have submitted three candidates to the Township Council to fill out the one-year unexpired term of former Mayor Brian Levine.

Levine is now a Somerset County Freeholder.

The candidates are township Republican chairman Bob LaCorte of Blackwells Mills Road, Chris Kelley of Hilltop Lane and Raleigh Steinhauer of Pinecrest Drive.

The names were submitted by LaCorte to Township Clerk Ann Marie McCarthy on Jan. 7. The Township Council has 15 days to pick one of the three candidates, but because of scheduling, will probably make its selection at its Jan. 13 meeting.

Levine had one year left in his term when he decided late last year to replace former Freeholder Bob Zaborowksi on the 2014 Freeholder ballot. Zoborowksi, also a former township mayor, decided to not seek re-election after accepting a position at Raritan Valley Community College.

Two of the three candidates said they would pursue a full term in November.

LaCorte, an insurance broker, said he would “most likely probably not” run for a full term in November if he were to be selected.

LaCorte said he would “basically do the best job I could for the one year for the residents of Franklin.”

“I like to help people,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing.”

LaCorte is a member of the township Planning Board, as well as the Historic Preservation Advisory Committee and the Open Space Advisory Committee. He is the commissioner of the township’s Over 50 Softball League, has organized Memorial Day celebrations over the last several years and is also active with the Franklin Township Food Bank.

Kelly, a pastry chef and food scientist for a township-based food ingredients manufacturer, said that if he were selected, he would run again in November for a full term.

Kelly said he would work to infuse some “fiscal responsibility” in the township government.

“The current council is adequate, but I think they need a little bit of fiscal responsibility,” he said. “I also think that over the course of my taxes coming close to tripling, I don’t see any better service that I’m getting. I’m more than happy to pay for them if I see service that justifies it.”

Kelly said he would also work to make the township “more business friendly.”

A lifelong township resident, Kelley said he “bleeds Franklin blue.”

“I’m obviously not a career politician, I’m just an average resident with average resicnt concerns on my mind,” he said. “I think that’s what makes me stand out from the rest.”

Kelly said he would run for a full term because one year isn’t enough time to “make a mark.”

Kelly, who is chairman of the Somerset County Open Space Committee, said he would also work to forge more cooperation between the county and the township.

A former chairman of the township’s Advisory Board of Health, Kelly is also vice chairman of the township Trails Advisory Committee.

Steinhauer, a Franklin native, said he, too, would run for a full term if he is selected by the council.

Steinhauer said the year term presents many opportunities for a person “to do a lot of great things for the township.”

“I think you can have an impact,” he said.

In general, he said, he would like to see “how we could have a more affordable township and a better balance regarding how our money is spent.”

“Right off the bat, I’d like to delve into the books of the township to see where our money is being spent and how it is allocated,” he said.


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