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Former Barnegat Committeewoman Ryan to Run Unopposed in State Senate Primary

Democrat will challenge Sen. Christopher Connors for his seat in November.

Barnegat resident and former Township Committee member Dorothy Ryan is the Democratic pick to challenge State Sen. Christopher Connors for his seat in November.

Ryan, who will be 78 next week, gathered 167 signatures in her petition to enter the race, and will run uncontested in the District 9 Democratic primary June 7.

She had not been planning a campaign until the possibility of her running came up at a recent nominating committee meeting, she said, but after considering the idea and consulting her family, she decided to throw her hat in the ring.

Running her husband’s Assembly campaign in 2001 showed her the ins and outs of a legislative run, she said, “so I go into it with eyes wide open.”

Too-high property taxes and the state of education in New Jersey top Ryan’s list of issues.

“In my mind, they are very much combined, since 60 percent of our property taxes go to support public education,” she said.

Oversight of the decommissioning of the Oyster Creek nuclear generating station is also a priority, she said, particularly since the disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant has called attention to similarities between that structure and Oyster Creek.

As plans move forward for the shuttering of the Lacey plant in 10 years, “there are many things to be considered,” Ryan said. The fact that spent fuel rods could be stored on the site for decades after the plant closes is a major issue for her, she said.

“I get concerned about the people and their jobs and the loss of tax revenue for Lacey. And you need to have an alternative source of energy.”

Ryan will run a joint campaign with Democratic State Assembly candidates Carla Kearney of South Toms River and Bradley Billhimer of Berkeley, she said.

Ryan served on the Barnegat Township Committee from 2007 to 2010, when she was defeated by Republican Al Bille. A Barengat resident for 14 years, Ryan lives in the Heritage Point development.

Eric Thomas April 24, 2011 at 12:27 PM
I concur with Ray. Proceeding under the assumption that Ms. Ryan did, in fact, tamper with the democratic process via vandalizing signage, she has disgraced herself and pulverized her reputation. Any punishment possibly due her will be administered at the November election when voters reject her candidacy by manifesting a thundering plurality in favor of her opponent. Clearly, Dorothy Ryan has chosen to leave the public eye in shame.
Eric Thomas April 24, 2011 at 12:41 PM
Mr. Bank, the condominium association that oversees my Arizona property strictly prohibits any member from taking unilateral action as, allegedly, did Ms. Ryan. Were every unit owner left to "do their own thing," it might be chaotic. Were the same situation to exist there, the Board of Managers of the association would make a decision to place/remove the signage and then instruct the property manager to implement action. I fully agree with your statement concerning Ms. Ryan's record on the Barnegat committee. I suspect her many inconsistencies to be the reason she was defeated in her reelection bid by a virtual unknown challenger - - and by almost landslide proportion. I am not holding my breath waiting for Ms. Ryan to openly support Mr. Morano and Mr. Howard who are the official democratic candidates. Given this incident, any mention of her name would be a liability. To best protect Morano and Howard, the democrats need to openly condemn Ryan for her actions. I doubt if they will given the involvement of two of their executive officers in this Wednesday's election. As you so rightly say, "the GOP political machine has nothing to fear."
Eric Thomas April 24, 2011 at 01:12 PM
I do not think age is relevant. I am certain we both know a few "geezers" who are sharper than many younger folks. Ms. Ryan is, clearly, an opportunist. Although I am sure she sees it as serving the needs of her party when no one else has stepped up to the plate. Could it be that most democrats can see beyond party lines and acknowledge that Sen. Connors has served his entire constituency with honor? Her record of voting in favor of higher taxes for Barnegat cannot be denied. Dorothy Ryan has forced every property owner to dig deeper into their pockets. Having one of the highest property tax burdens in the tri-state area has hurt Barnegat. So many have had their dreams shattered when forced to abandon their homes because they can no longer afford the high costs of keeping them. There is a lesson here. If Barnegat is going to break free from the doldrums we have to muster the courage to not just talk "change," we have to make "change." And we need to keep changing our elected officials until we get it right. I do not rely on campaign signs or flyers. I compare my tax bills from year to year and get the facts for myself. As Woodrow Wilson said when campaigning for Governor: "I am asking everyone to think."
Ken Bank April 24, 2011 at 08:54 PM
So far as I know this story has not been reported outside this comment thread. We really have no confirmation or other detailed information as to whether or not there has been any criminal conduct by Ms. Ryan. It's a legitimate story that needs to be pursued. A major party candidate for State Senate stealing campaign signs is not only of local interest but at the county and state level as well. If Chris Connors was caught stealing campaign signs you can be certain it would be all over the APP, ACPress, even the Star-Ledger. Hopefully some enterprising reporter will pick up on this and pursue it with the Barnegat PD and seek comment from Ms. Ryan as well, maybe even get some comment from the property owner the signs were stolen from. From a political standpoint the Republicans will not make this an issue because Ocean County GOP boss George Gilmore is grinning from ear to ear like a Cheshire Cat at the prospect of a damaged throwaway candidate like Dorothy Ryan at the top of the Democratic ticket.
Ray April 25, 2011 at 05:00 PM
If you are without sin, then cast the first stone. You sound extremely moralistic.

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