Category Archives: West Point graduate

>Cullen, Lavan & Short Begin Fight for New Jersey’s Thirteenth Legislative District

>MONMOUTH COUNTY – On Monday, Democrats Christopher Cullen, Kevin M. Lavan and Patrick Short announced their intention to seek seats in the newly configured Thirteenth Legislative District. The three former elected officials will focus on protecting the environment, creating jobs, and reforming state government.

Mr. Cullen, who served previously as Mayor of Hazlet Township, will run as a write-in candidate in the June 7 Democratic primary for the chance to challenge State Senator Joseph Kyrillos (R-Middletown). He cited the Christie Administration’s inaction on key environmental issues — and the voters need for a choice — as his reason for challenging the longtime lawmaker.

“The people of the Thirteenth Legislative District deserve a conversation about the future of our communities,” said Mr. Cullen. “I hope my fellow Democrats will consider writing me in so I can have that conversation with Senator Kyrillos.”
Mayor Cullen is a committed environmentalist. He said, “As Mayor, I worked with Democrats and Republicans alike to preserve thousands of acres of open space. As Senator, I’ll go to Trenton to make sure that what remains of our woodlands and beaches don’t give way to shopping centers and traffic jams.”

Mr. Lavan and Mr. Short are seeking the two State Assembly seats currently held by Amy Handlin (R-Middletown) and Declan O’Scanlon (R-Little Silver). They believe the Thirteenth District deserves representatives who will fight for middle class families.

“It’s time someone stood up for middle class families,” said Mr. Lavan, also a former Mayor of Hazlet Township. “There are too many people out of work. Too many homes are in foreclosure. We need action to spur the economy and put people back to work.”

Mr. Short, who during his tenure on the Middletown Township Committee fought for responsible budgeting and greater transparency, believes Mayor Lavan and he have the unique experience and skills to reform the way Trenton does business.

“Kevin and I were elected as a result of Operation Bid Rig,” said Mr. Short. “Our involvement in public service was borne out of a desire to clean up our towns and restore the people’s faith in local government. Ethics reform and greater transparency in state government will be among our top priorities when we head to the Assembly.”

Mayor Cullen served on the Hazlet Township Committee from 2001-2004.
During that time, he preserved record amounts of open space. He currently works as facilities maintenance manager for the Marine Academy of Science and Technology at Sandy Hook.

Mayor Lavan was elected to fill the seat of disgraced Republican Mayor Paul Coughlin in 2005. A Hiring Agent for New York Shipping, during his time in office he delivered the lowest municipal tax increases in a decade.

Committeeman Short graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and retired from the U.S. Army as a Lieutenant Colonel. On the Middletown Township Committee he opposed runaway borrowing and offered a series of reforms that resulted in increased transparency and greater responsibility to taxpayers.

The new Thirteenth Legislative District comprises Aberdeen, Atlantic Highlands, Fair Haven, Hazlet, Highlands, Holmdel, Keansburg, Keyport, Little Silver, Marlboro, Middletown, Monmouth Beach, Oceanport, Rumson, Sea Bright, and Union Beach.


Filed under 13th Legisaltive District, Chris Cullen, Democratic Candidate, Hazlet Mayor, Hazlet NJ, Kevin Lavan, Middletown NJ, Monmouth County, New Jersey, Patrick Short, press release, West Point graduate

Middletown Democratic Chairman Fires Back at Former GOP Mayor


MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP – Middletown Democratic Chairman Joe Caliendo said that a recent letter to the editor by ex-Middletown Mayor Tom Hall is out of line.

“In his letter, Mr. Hall questioned the patriotism of Middletown Committeeman Patrick Short because he did not say the words to the Pledge of Allegiance at Committee meetings,” Caliendo said.

Caliendo characterized Hall’s remarks as “outlandish,” given the fact that Short is a West Point graduate who retired from the U.S. Army as a Lieutenant Colonel after serving more than 20 years on Active Duty in his nation’s uniform.

“Patriotism isn’t something that is measured by how loud you say a pledge, or making sure that you put a bumper sticker on your car. Patriotism is about service, and I would stack Mr. Short’s commitment and service to his nation, in the service and out, against Mr. Hall’s any day. Of course, I am unsure if Mr. Hall ever served his country in the Armed Services. While I do not think that should be held against anyone, if someone does not, I certainly do think that serving in the Army for a whole career makes a statement too. He is a patriot, and that is that,” Caliendo said.

Caliendo said that he believes Hall’s attack was based on the fact that Mr. Short is a Democrat. “I spoke to a Republican once and asked him, ‘Why does your party insist on character assassination and lies as a way to campaign?’ He responded that it is done because it works.”

Caliendo said that holding someone accountable to their official actions and problems with public service is expected. “But, there has to be a better way to go than outright lies,” Caliendo concluded.

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Filed under Middletown Democrats, Middletown GOP, Patrick Short, Pledge of Allegiance, Tom Hall, U.S. Army, West Point graduate

Former Middletown Mayor Attacks Committeeman’s Patriotism

In response to Middletown’s former Mayor Tom Hall, someone who couldn’t stand to answer questions he didn’t like or take the heat when people demanded answers and finally stepped down from the township governing body because of it, just can’t get over his strange and personally vindictive obsession with Middletown’s Democratic Committeeman Patrick Short.

This obscene obsession seems to resemble a jilted lover’s scorn at being left at the alter or in Hall’s case, at being rejected by Short when Hall offered to take him under his wing soon after being elected to the township committee.

In every letter that Tom Hall seems to write, he wants an apology from Short for something that, in his mind may or may not have happened months or years ago! In his latest letter to the Atlantic Highlands Herald that was published on 9/22/09 however has gone too far and demands a rebuttal.

How on earth does Tom G. Hall, former Mayor of Middletown, get off questioning a West Point graduate and a retired Army Lt. Colonel’s patriotism? How dare he try to insinuate that a man who served his country proudly, so that all who didn’t serve could live free, is anything less than noble in order to score some trivial political points against a man who is seeking re-election, by carelessly writing that Patrick Short will not recite the Pledge of Allegiance before meetings!

I have stood next to Patrick when the pledge is taking place. His hand is on his heart and he looks at our flag; in my opinion, silent prayers are more powerful than those that are spoken – so are pledges. It is his business alone where his heart, mind and soul are, or are not. It definitely is none of my business. His mouth not moving does not mean anything more than his mouth is not moving, nothing more, and nothing less. To judge ones patriotism or love of country on silence during a pledge is a judgment of a petty and shallow person.

A good part of what our country stands for and is deeply rooted in is freedom of expression. Everyone has the right to express their freedom in words, song or silence. Patrick’s military service to our country has more substance and expresses more allegiance than a pledge spoken or said in silence.

When one bows ones head in silence in remembrance of others at the begining of Township Committee meetings, or other events, is that any less powerful or meaningful or reverent than speaking in remembrance? I find silence powerful and reverently fulfilling when remembering what our country stands for, especially when in remembrance of others.

Tom Hall is entitled to be a moron; unfortunately he invests a lot of time practicing at being one. This is a childish attempt at a “Got-Cha ” moment by a small, frightened member of the opposition, who thinks he is helping… little does he know.


Filed under Atlantic Highlands Herald, Lt. Colonel, Middletown NJ, Patrick Short, patriotism, Pledge of Allegiance, Tom Hall, U.S. Army, West Point graduate