Sohor’s involvement in race for mayor now uncertain

By sue m. morgan
Staff Writer

By sue m. morgan
Staff Writer

OLD BRIDGE — Despite an earlier announcement, Planning Board Chairman Roman Sohor did not file a nominating petition to run for mayor by the 4 p.m. deadline on Monday.

Most municipal offices did close at 2 p.m. Monday due to the unexpected April snowstorm, but Township Clerk Rose-Marie Saracino remained at work until 4 p.m. just in case Sohor or any other candidate interested in filing a nominating petition should brave the elements to do so.

At press time, efforts to reach Sohor, who is retired, for this story were unsuccessful.

If Sohor, who announced his candidacy on March 18, has abandoned his plans to run for mayor, he has not told Ward 5 Councilman Richard Greene, who expected to face him in the June primary for the Republican nomination.

Greene, the local party’s choice for mayor, told the Suburban Tuesday night that he also had tried to reach Sohor by telephone but could not.

Uncertain why Sohor did not file a nominating petition, Greene said he wished his expected challenger well and expressed hope that he would stand behind him and the three candidates the party has endorsed for township council.

"I would hope that in not filing [a petition], it is a sign that he is willing to support the ticket that was approved by the Republican Party," Greene said.

"I hope he’ll continue to support the Republican Party and the ticket selected so that the party will be victorious in November," he said.

Greene expressed doubt that Sohor could be considering a run as an independent candidate.

"It would be more advantageous to him to support the Republican Party," he said.

Greene could now run uncontested for the Republican nomination.

The winner of the June primary is also expected to run against the sole Democratic candidate, Middlesex County Treasurer and former two-term Democratic county freeholder James T. "Jim" Phillips.

The candidates are seeking to succeed outgoing Mayor Barbara Cannon, who announced on March 11 that she would not seek a fourth consecutive term.

Cannon, a Republican, has previously stated her own personal support of Sohor, a former Ward 2 councilman who lost his seat in 2001.

Upon announcing his decision to run, Sohor had expressed a desire to continue some of the initiatives first brought forward by the 12-year Cannon administration.

Three Republican newcomers, Amelia Mannino-Pellicone, Robert Sucarato and Peter Trabucco, are expected to challenge incumbent Democrat councilmen Dennis Maher and Edward Testino and Economic Development Corp. Chairman Patrick M. Gillespie for three at-large council seats. The council is dominated by Democrats, 7-2.

Gillespie joined the race after a third incumbent, Council Vice President Lawrence Redmond, dropped out of the race citing family obligations.