Beck Picks Her Running Mates in LD11: Acerra and Whelan

State Senator Jennifer Beck (R-11), who is running in one of the most closely watched general election battleground districts in this state this year, on Friday announced the selection of her two running mates.

They are Ocean Twp. Deputy Mayor Rob Acerra (pictured) and Red Bank Councilman Mike Whelan.

A national account manager for Carousel Industries, Acerra has served since 2015.

Still in his 20s, Whelan is an account executive.

For an extended interview with Whelan, please go here.

Beck picked this evening’s Monmouth GOP Lincoln Day Dinner as her site to unveil the pair of local elected officials.

“I’m privileged to announce the rest of the District 11 team. I’ve devoted my time in public service to fighting for Monmouth County families and I’m pleased that I will joined by two Assembly candidates who have done the same in Deputy Mayor Acerra and Councilman Whelan,” the senator said. “We look forward to sharing our vision for Monmouth County, one in which we must adequately fund our school districts to ease our local property tax burdens, fight unreasonable affordable housing formulas and protect our quality of life” said Beck.

Acerra has lived in Ocean Township over 25 years with his wife, Rose, and three sons. Beck noted that running mate Acerra has held the line on municipal tax increases in Ocean Township and saved over $1 million for taxpayers.

“I look forward to the upcoming campaign and applying the skills I have honed on the Ocean Township Council to the Statehouse in Trenton. It is time that we focus on the issues that matter, like our property tax crisis driving residents out of our State. I have a record of reaching across the political parties to achieve results locally. It is time we approach our State Legislature in a similar way,” said Acerra.

Red Bank Councilman Mike Whelan has been a member of the Red Bank Borough Council since 2016. Whalen grew up in Red Bank and currently serves as Police and Fire Commissioner. During his time as Councilman, Whelan led the fire department’s consolidation effort.

“New Jersey is facing an affordability crisis. With a billion dollar gas tax hike enacted and local property taxes, it’s clear that we need a voice for the middle-class families in this district. Running with Senator Beck and Deputy Mayor Acerra, I know that we will be able to tackle the big issues that families care about in Trenton” added Whelan.

“I take great pride in my ability to reach across the aisle and get things done for Monmouth County,” Beck added. “Legislators discussed the possibility of dredging the Shark River for 20 years – that project is now nearing completion. I vocally opposed and organized the citizens’ opposition to New Jersey’s gasoline tax increase, starting a petition that garnered over 20,000 signatures and hosted rallies all over my district. Underfunded school districts are a problem across the State, I have been able to secure additional funds for Red Bank and Freehold Borough. My office has personally assisted hundreds of individuals after Superstorm Sandy who were looking for guidance in the rebuilding process. My office has worked in tandem with the numerous non profits created in the district to reach out to Sandy-effected homeowners and get them back in their homes.”

Beck faces a challenge this year from Democrat (and former county party chairman) Vin Gopal, who’s running on a ticket with incumbent Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Joann Downey. The pair of incumbent Democrats two years ago displaced Beck’s running mates: Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande and Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini.



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13 responses to “Beck Picks Her Running Mates in LD11: Acerra and Whelan”

      • You are correct Jim. After seven years of playing water boy for her governor she wisely realized in order to get elected again she would have to part ways on something. But alas it got her nothing with her capo Christie.

        • Not once did she ever override Christie’s vetos even when it meant going against a Bill she in fact supported. Now how is that for hypocrisy?

          • Even on legislation that she asked to co-sponsor…. she was the lone GOP sponsor to crap out on the veto override

      • She was voting what her constituents wanted her to vote for. That is why state legislatures are our “voice” in Trenton. Declan O’Scanlon, who voted for the gas tax, will have huge problems.

  1. Time for change, particularly given the failure of state Republicans, Mrs. Beck included, to unequivocally repudiate the moral and democratic decay that has fallen upon the presidency and the misbegotten and anti-middle class and anti-poor reckless executive orders by Mr. Trump. Additionally, any affiliations and support of Mr. Christie over the years including his misadventures posing for national office and his sycophantic relationship with Mr. Trump has proven to be poor judgement. All, of whom Mrs. Beck is one, who supported party above all else need to be voted out of office. All this aside, Mr. Gopal is a class act. First, he had the good judgment not to retain his position as democratic party chair when deciding to seek state elected office. He is known as a listener, problem solver, with indefatigable energy in reaching out to and serving people regardless of political affiliation. He has a prodigious memory for names and information. He has a loyal and smart following because of the kind of person he is, whether in business or public service. With his political skills and proven collation building, Mr. Gopal also brings the knowledge, and sensibility as a small business owner who far better relates to the hopes and aspirations of the middle class while not forgetting those less fortunate.

    • Jonathan, you don’t have a clue, do you? Explain to us what executive orders President Trump has signed, that have hurt the middle class and the poor. Please, name just even one. I’ve got $10 that says you can’t.
      As for the decay of the state and blaming Republicans, is misguided as well. Both parties are to blame, almost equally but, for different reasons.
      If you think 8 years of Republicans in the governor’s office is the reason for decline of the state, you need to research your history. Laws, regulations and rules come from the assembly and Senate. The Democrats have had complete control of both bodies for decades. And, if democrats haven’t had more control over the state house over the past 40/50 years, it’s an equal time spent. Our state Democrats are stupid crazy socialists and, the Republicans are ignorant weak RINO’S.
      I’ll be waiting for your education on the Trump EO’s.

      • Let’s see – rolling back the clean water rule – rolling back the mortgage cut for first time buyers – executive order or executive actions? Executive disaster! Forgot rolling back ACA, which it appears now will result in 15 million not insured. Access is not a guarantee or right to health care. Forgot the onslaught of lies, false information, slanders, and sycophants like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio who dine at his table after being they and their families are eviscerated by him. Now with the jobs numbers. He claims meaningful for him but not for Obama, but as bad as his failure to release taxes is the addiction to tweeting and libel of the former president. When Sean Spicer was asked about the veracity of Trump’s claim that Obama had Trump Tower wiretapped, he said, ” I’m not here to speak for myself. I’m here to speak for the president of the United States and our government.” Is it that he is only following orders. The follow up press comment should have been – Is your first obligation to the truth? Only a persistent press and people who put country first, maybe John McCain, can save our democracy from Mr. Trump’s media addiction and pernicious lies. Trump is untrustworthy, imbalanced, and a pathological liar. His impeachment and being relieved of office is only a matter of time. Those who support one with such failed ethical moorings should be asking themselves the hard questions. Now, how about the his taxes. Maybe that will put some of the sludge at rest, or is it simply that he had not paid taxes while the rest of us have, and now he weekly exploits the public treasury with his weekend junkets to Florida. Sad … Would you like to know where to send the bet?

    • Jim, come on my friend. She’s a woman herself. Surly you don’t think she’s against women.
      There are already laws on the books against any type of bigotry. Some of the problems with this country is political correctness. We have affirmative action, that while goes over board to protect minorities, at the same time it tramples on others rights.
      As for wages, do you really want government going into a private business and telling the owners how to run the show? That’s like forcing minimum wage and businesses. We aren’t talking just large corporations (that would appear to have the finances to cover such a cost. We are talking about small and start up business as well. Keep making up arbitrary rules, regulations and laws and watch the economy drop to a socialist style living for everyone.

  2. I’ve got a question. The headline or a caption reads to the effect “low education funding and high property taxes”. It’s clear the two are connected. But, I’m surprised to find that Red Bank and Freehold education is under funded with property taxes so high. What does the Senator plan to do about this?
    How many representatives are willing to push back against the courts and ignore the Abbott districts? A scam that not only is viewed as theft from the tax payer but, theft in its own right through abuse once it is spent.
    I supported Beck on her stance against the gas tax. Was she genuine in the cause? This I can’t answer. But I didn’t see any other representatives from either side of the isle that was against it. I can’t wait to see how that money will get squandered.
    I would also like to know where Beck stands on the ridiculous issue of Sanctuary Red Bank. Where does she stand on our local community college that permits outside influence from Berkley too stir the illegal immigration issue? Not her district? Yes I know. But it’s her (our state) and that school had students sent over the Red Bank making noise for that down to commit crimes against the federal government.

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