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Mayor Button Out as Republicans Pick Fresh Slate of Candidates

In a near-unanimous vote, the GOP selects three political novices to vie for council seats this fall.

Moorestown Republicans’ town council ticket will be incumbent-free this fall after the municipal committee decided Tuesday night not to select Mayor John Button to run for a second term.

The committee instead selected three new candidates to vie for the three council seats up for election in November: Phil Garwood, Victoria Napolitano and Pete Palko.

“We are excited about our ticket and the party is solidly unified behind these great candidates,” said John Logue, chairman of the Moorestown Republican Municipal Committee (MRMC). “In the coming weeks, they will share with fellow residents their ideas for addressing the serious issues facing our town.”

None of the candidates have prior experience in public office, according to a release issued by the MRMC, but all are described as active members of the community.

Committee vice chair Mike Locatell, who chairs the selection subcommittee, said the nine-member subcommittee voted unanimously to select Garwood, Napolitano and Palko and the full committee’s vote was nearly unanimous.

Locatell said members of the subcommittee initially reached out to roughly 16 to 17 people who were interested in running, whittling that down to six candidates who were brought in for interviews, which included Mayor Button.

Reached for comment Tuesday night, Button was frank in his assessment of the Republican Party in Moorestown and their reasons for not selecting him.

“What it tells me is the Moorestown Republican Committee has become a committee run by a small number of people who do not represent the majority opinion of Moorestown,” he said, “who are more focused on winning an election than they are on getting the facts and making hard decisions in the best interests of our taxpayers.

“I believe party has no real, meaningful place in running a small town,” he added, alluding to various differences of opinion between he and the party over the course of his tenure.

Asked to respond to Button’s statements, Locatell said he had no comment.

Button said he had an initial interview with the selection subcommittee, and a follow-up phone call sometime after, but no other contact with the party since then. Still, their decision came as neither a surprise nor an expectation for the mayor.

“I wasted no energy on trying to figure out what they were going to do,” he said.

With Button’s exclusion, township council could have an all-new look next year.

Councilmen Greg Gallo and Mike Testa, who ran as a team with Button in 2008, .

Button can still run as a Republican in the primary, or as an Independent in the general, but said he hasn’t made up his mind. There are unresolved issues—the municipal complex, recreation improvements, business revitalization—which he’s reluctant to walk away from.

“I have received many calls encouraging me to run … which was very gratifying, very nice,” he said. “I hadn’t given (running separate from the party) any thought … Tonight, they’ve dealt me a different hand.”

A release issued by the MRMC described Garwood as a “volunteer and leader in the community for over 20 years,” with eight years on the township Recreation Advisory Committee, four as chair. Garwood is also involved with the Christmas parade and is a soccer and field hockey coach.

Napolitano, a software instructor at a local company, enters the race with a master’s in education from Drexel and a “desire … to keep taxes as low as possible,” the release stated.

And Palko, a longtime Moorestown resident, has served as commissioner of the township’s flag football organization and, as CEO of Panther Technologies (a firm specializing in remediation), donated his company’s resources to help repair one of the township’s athletic fields and is currently advising the township on some capital projects, according to the release.

Main street March 23, 2012 at 08:47 PM
What do you want diereep? What do you say to those including Ed, that think the mayor should run again /or is running again? Why are you tryin to control or dare Button not to run again? What do you have against him? It seems you don't want miller to run either, and broder - not sure of him?? But what's your beef? If your candidates are the three mentioned a couple of weeks ago that's great! And btw- as you stated to somewhere else, why didn't you have that "press release" on those candidates when they were selected? What is the delay for? Some want to know more about them and as Ed and others on the blogs want to know Their stances. Are you waiting for a primary challenge? Why not a candidates release now?
Spokesperson March 24, 2012 at 12:10 AM
Diehard/wasup what do you have against Pete Miller? Some say button and broder/miller win hands down over "novices". Do you think different? Button well liked by the Rep club.
There's Been a Leak March 24, 2012 at 12:17 AM
This just in....mark Hines will highlight the democratic ticket And is anti-town hall and anti-fields
There's Been a Leak March 24, 2012 at 02:35 AM
New leak.....Panzarella has joined the independent button ticket
Spokesperson March 24, 2012 at 02:56 AM
When is Mr. Ed holding the debate? Taxes for town hall? High rentals? Fields for kids? Who will show up at moorestown day? Will anyone be attending the "fundraiser" at Tavistock for the GOP candidates?
OS for Dams March 24, 2012 at 03:42 AM
Yeah that's a good idea, I'll be there for both events. The GOP Candidates Brunch fundraiser and Moorestown Day are wonderful, and we encourage everyone to go. Great event for a meet and greet and to hear what the candidates have to say. A previous poster said Tavistock wasn't a high renter.. Keep the costs down is an important way to manage the greenbacks. If Ed wants to moderate a pre or post brunch debate let them know and they'll arrange the seating. As for Moorestown Day, how many booth do we need to coordinate amongst all of these campagins? Perhaps Ed could arrange an area for all parties to debate?
Ed Nice March 24, 2012 at 03:56 AM
OS for Dams thats a good one. I guees its ok to spend our OS/REC money on concrete barriers but not fields. LOL! Im happy to run the debates and keep all of these political types honest. Question 1 is what would you do to cut our taxes but you gotta hold the event in Moorestown. Tavistock aint cuttin it. Why the Republican Club doesnt support Moorestonw businesses is beyond me.
OS for Dams March 24, 2012 at 04:09 AM
Ok Ed , funny! Go to both events. Have the debates and have some fun! I think Strawbridge poster was stating that the Community House was unavailable for a Sunday Brunch due to a church or something until early afternoon and that the costs to have such an event there are too high? Or you could be like Kitchen who would say "The Rental is too Damn High" LOL. Now that was aired out, Cut taxes!
diehardrep March 24, 2012 at 04:40 AM
Main St, I really do not care wheather JB or PM run or not. I don't agree with some of Button's decisions, (don't ask) but I have no personal beef with him or anyone. I am merely passing on very logical information regarding campaigns. Should I lie and say it would be a walk in the park? I have been involved is several campaigns, allbeit Conn, not NJ. The process is always the same, and 3-way races are the pits. You sure ask a lot of questions. I'll bet you could answer some of your own if you think about it. Here's one, " Why didn't they have a press release"? Answer; they haven't even filed yet. Here's another, "Am I waiting for a primary challenge"? Answer; There is no evidence that there is one other than the rumors on this blog. Answer #2; No.
Ed Nice March 24, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Hey coach looks like you gave out a bad steal sign, i googled the minutes and found P Miller asked this question of council last march. Did Mayor rocato also have a time limit? If you want to coach, I can put you in touch with my friends at MYBF.
Ed Nice March 24, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Hey OS for Dems is this the brunch you want me to attend? Can I go free if I run the debate? How funny the Rep Club hosts events outside of Moorestown. This is why I say party doesnt matter in small towns because they dont care about town MOORESTOWN REPUBLICAN CLUB 25th ANNUAL BRUNCH You are cordially invited to join other Republican supporters at our YEARLY FORUM FOR STATEWIDE AND CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES We are planning to welcome Republican candidates including: State Senator Joe Kyrillos, candidate for U.S. Senate Congressman Jon Runyan (other official GOP candidates will be invited) at Tavistock Country Club, Haddonfield Sunday April 29th at 11:00 a.m. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. Featuring: The Tavistock Gala Buffet Brunch As always, we appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you at this very special event. Tickets: $50 ($55 at the door) Tables of 8: $350 To buy a Table, Contact: Joe Mollo at joseph.mollo@gmail.com RSVP: Pete Miller (609) 634-5699 by April 19th (Please Call for Availability after April 19th) Make checks payable to: Moorestown Republican Club P.O. Box 73 Moorestown, New Jersey 08057 email: pmiller@moorestowngop.com Business Att
Third base coach March 24, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Ed , you forgot to tag third on that fly ball! Your outta there. You just cost us a run. Pay attention to the ballgame and not your tag team partner. Let's try that again.
Ed Nice March 24, 2012 at 04:18 PM
hey coach funny how you deleted that post about the time limit comment. even funnyer i saved a copy tell me your name and Ill decide if you should even be in the ballgame LOL no one takes cowards seriously. At least Mark, Frank G and a few others are legit Whens the next club meeting?
Third base coach March 24, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Ok Ed be nice, just trying to keep things real. After further review, I do recall there is a three minute time limit? Although with some it's hard to keep that limit. Do you have a better suggestion? At that meeting a year ago about kids many had a number of relevant town questions, but couldn't keep that limit. how could town council structure the meeting out for all to be heard ?
Ed Nice March 24, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Coach I dont worry about that stuff I worry about all of the lies and BS that fake posters write on hear trying to smear people like John Button. You can call me coach since I am one and I dont know who you are. I would like to meet Pete Miller and see what the Rep Party has to say about this fields problem and not doing town hall. Where does he wanna meet? tavistock? LOL
Third base coach March 24, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Ok coach good to chat. It says that Pete and those candidates will be at tavistock so you can ask the candidates whatever questions you'd like. Good luck to a good season, hopefully we don't get a lot of rain!
Ed Nice March 24, 2012 at 05:08 PM
If we had turf rain wouldnt matter dont you getit. When do I find out if Pete and Phil and this Vicky person support fields over town hall? Whats the Rep Club have to say? You guys wanna run the town so answer up so voters know the truth! Im in District 9. Who do I have to call? Enough of this BS. I want ansers
Third base coach March 24, 2012 at 05:15 PM
I get it Ed . Do you like the third base side at wb? After a rain that whole third base side is flooded! You think I would like to stand in that? Wb does have drainage issues as I think you know?
Ed Nice March 24, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Are you foolin with me? MYBF wants to turf the fields at PRYOR and has offered to pay a lot to get it done. what has the library offered to pay for it? Who is paying for town hall? Its bad enough you have like 10 fake names but you dont even know what you are talkin about
Third base coach March 24, 2012 at 05:41 PM
Ed you are all over the map with stating many town issues. I thought we were talking kids ? But, you go and talk about library, politics, town hall, Swedes farm, etc. Suggest you talk with town councilmembers, candidates, or poss run for council, or "district person" or whatever. Your passion and questioning these important topics im sure is appreciated.
Ed Nice March 24, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Hey what should I call you???? Im not running for anything but I do want the truth and I do want the fields fixed. The other stuff can wait. Come out from hiding and multiple fake screen names and then we can talk like men. This blog says Miller wants to run. whats he afraid of? His old man built the turf field that Garwood supported.
Referee March 25, 2012 at 03:10 AM
Warning chime: Mayor Button and his running mates have one week or Monday April 2nd 4pm to deliver their completed petitions as Republican canididates for Town Council.
Just Wondering March 25, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Have any of you "people in know" signed the mysterious Button petitions? Have any of you even seen them? I have not. Maybe we can go in the woods along Westfield Rd. and search for Bigfoot and the mysterious Button petitions. I am guessing we will not find either.
Referee March 25, 2012 at 12:57 PM
We agree. We are just laying the ground rules and awareness for the filing deadline in case some of these bloggers are correct. I will not be able to put anymore time on the clock for any republican candidates (or dems) running for town council. Perhaps "JW" knows any of these "candidates" and could pass the word or disseminate the truths and falsehoods. Any yellow flags need to be tossed?
Time to get up March 25, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Your right it's for all those who are running for town council to stand up and get them sigs and return when the ref wants them. Everyone needs to stop playin' Who's running? Maybe the Mayor should say something at Monday nights meeting the others too. Get it together!
Abc123 March 25, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Look ref, Ed, die, thirdbasemen, and our spokesmen And women, it has been real reading these posts! But let's take decent guess here. The three that "mrmc" chose are your republicans. Unless one of those three gets "cold feet" before or after, or "they" realize that one of them shouldn't be on the ticket for some reason, "it is what it is" for the GOP . As for a bench, maybe p.miller or scooper, or whoever is as backup if needed in the "cold feet" theory stated earlier. It would be interesting" for Mayor Button to run, and that's be determined, and who he'd have run with him, but as "just wondering " just hinted to us, and it appears at this point, jb isn't running. Furthermore, in reading "diehardgop" , it would be a difficult task to run as an independent. Maybe "get them up" that is your close realistic view you want to hear?
Strawbridge Lake Dam Fan March 25, 2012 at 06:44 PM
we will know more after repub brunch April 29 If someone gets "cold feet" who will take there place? Does anyone know more about the button miller broder BMB ticket? Is p. miller really going to run as an "indy"? His father does support turf fields with garwood back in 2006. whats about s. cooper or Al Panzeralla hook up to form an ALL KIDS team? sounds like someones chances will be up in smoke
Abc123 March 25, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Strawbridge, so you think P.miller and Garwood should be running mates? Who on third slot? Are you pushing Vicky or palko aside? Let us know what you were hinting ? MPG? GMP? GMN? Ticket? What is it?
Pool sticks March 25, 2012 at 09:09 PM
That's interesting abc and strawbridge, I still don't get it why p. Miller wasn't "picked" to run. So let's say as jh that "he declined to interview" , I'm sure with the interest and others off/on blogs , that the mrmc" huddle " would have asked him to run. Did they? Let's win in November!
Lenola Rocks March 25, 2012 at 10:57 PM
The chatter on these blogs are bringing back other names than the mrmc picked. Is Mr. P. Miller now a candidate? Or, he's not and just a number of people are mad that he wasn't picked? I'm not familiar with some of those chosen. It seems Ed, diehard, and many others know Miller and Button but no one really has elaborated on why or who the others are a good pick. Why didn't they pick Miller and Button? Ed, what happens in a week?

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