Sen. Jeff Van Drew addresses his supporters during his primary night victory for the Democratic nomination in the Second Congressional District. By Donald Wittkowski and Maddy VitaleState Sen. Jeff Van Drew swept to an overwhelming victory in the Democratic primary for the Second Congressional District, while political activist Seth Grossman pulled off a big upset to capture the Republican nomination.In the U.S. Senate primary, incumbent Sen. Bob Menendez won the Democratic nomination, while Republican frontrunner Bob Hugin, a former pharmaceutical executive, emerged with an easy victory.Meanwhile, in the race for Cape May County freeholder, Republican incumbent Leonard Desiderio, who is also the mayor of Sea Isle City, ran unopposed. Democrat Jeremiah Schenerman also did not face opposition in the primary for his party’s nomination.With the retirement of U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, the popular Republican who has represented South Jersey since 1995, the Second Congressional District is seen as a key battleground race during the midterm elections in November.Van Drew, a veteran lawmaker who has served in both New Jersey’s Assembly and Senate, was the heavy favorite against a trio of lesser known Democratic challengers. Unofficial returns showed Van Drew captured about 55 percent of the vote.Seth Grossman captures the Republican congressional nomination in an upset.Grossman, who touted himself as a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump, defeated the presumed frontrunner Hirsh Singh, who had lined up support from most of the Republican county organizations within the district.Addressing his supporters on primary night, Van Drew portrayed himself as a champion of South Jersey who is willing to fight the Washington establishment for his constituents.“I believe the biggest issue as a congressman is standing up for your people,” he told a jubilant campaign crowd at the Oar House Pub in Sea Isle City. “I want to be a really, really, really, really good congressman.”Van Drew immediately outlined a list of top issues for his campaign, stressing the need to rebuild South Jersey’s fragile economy while focusing on the region’s tourism, fishing and casino gaming industries.“We know we have challenges with our economy,” he said.He also called for more affordable healthcare, less expensive prescription drugs and a fairer tax structure, especially for senior citizens and younger people to keep them from moving out of New Jersey. He also pledged to fight for better healthcare and social services for the nation’s veterans.Drawing applause from the crowd, Van Drew vowed to fight a proposal by the Trump administration to open up the New Jersey coast for offshore drilling of gas and oil. Political leaders along the Jersey Shore have been united in their opposition to the Trump plan, warning of the possibility of an oil spill that could be catastrophic to the beach towns and the environment.“There will be no drilling offshore off the state of New Jersey,” he said, eliciting cheers from supporters. “I will not let that happen. We will not let that happen.”Van Drew and Grossman will now square off in the November general election.Van Drew, 65, of Dennis Township, represents Cape May, Cumberland and Atlantic counties in the state Senate. Helped by the backing of the national Democratic Party, he faced only token opposition in the primary from Tanzie Youngblood, a retired teacher, William Cunningham, a former congressional aide, and Nate Kleinman, a political activist.Unofficial returns showed Van Drew capturing 15,645 votes, Youngblood had 5,409, Cunningham garnered 4,736 and Kleinman received 2,443.With nearly all precincts reporting, Grossman, a Somers Point attorney, polled 10,101 votes, Singh had 7,893, former state Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi had 6,068 and retired FBI agent Bob Turkavage received 1,839.Grossman, who called himself the “most consistently conservative” of all the candidates, said he was the clear choice by Republican voters.“The reason I ran in the first place in the primary, even though I didn’t get the endorsement, is I knew the people supported President Trump and the party leaders didn’t recognize how strongly the Republicans felt about it,” Grossman, 68, of Atlantic City, said in a phone interview after a marathon day on just two hours of sleep.The former Atlantic City councilman and former Atlantic County freeholder has practiced law since 1975. He is also well known as a newspaper columnist and guest host on local talk radio.His campaign focused on immigration and blamed illegal immigrants for putting a strain on New Jersey and the nation’s welfare system, schools and police departments. He also criticized the Obamacare health system.Grossman said the poll results should be proof to the Republican leaders, that these are key issues that voters are concerned about.“I felt that the leaders were misreading the people,” he said. “The voters expressed their views strongly tonight.”Grossman has said he is the only candidate with enough name recognition to beatVan Drew, D-Cape, Cumberland, Atlantic. He noted it will be a tough fight to beat his opponent.“Jeff Van Drew is a likable person. But his party has been hijacked by radical Democrats. Now, it will be a real test,” Grossman said. “I am new to this and this is the big league. We will have five months to prepare. It will be a real challenge.”Grossman also serves as executive director of Liberty and Prosperity, a nonprofit constitutional advocacy group that promotes conservative causes. He said he used Liberty and Prosperity’s website to help the Tea Party and other conservative groups organize their political campaigns.Republican candidate Hirsh Singh addresses supporters while he concedes to Seth Grossman.A dejected Singh entered his campaign headquarters at McCullough’s Emerald Links golf course in Egg Harbor Township at about 10:30 p.m. The mood was somber.He apologized to his supporters for the loss.“I’m sorry for letting you down,” he said. “We put countless hours in and we did it all for the right reasons. I just called Seth Grossman and congratulated him. We want him to do what he can now. He was very gracious.”Singh said he will reassess his campaign, but Trib Singh, his father, said he has no doubt his son will run again.“He is in this for good,” Trib Singh said.
Star Files Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed from today. Renée Elise Goldsberry Gets Cool Mom PointsThe Hamilton Tony winner already has them in spades for playing the oldest and wittiest Schuyler sister in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s game-changing musical. Goldsberry will lend her voice in season two of Disney Junior’s The Lion Guard, an animated series which continues the story of The Lion King. She will voice Dhahabu the Golden Zebra, the charismatic leader of a group of zebras. (We just had a mental image of a bunch of zebras sassy snapping and yelling, “Werk!”)Phylicia Rashad Joins Empire Season 3Tony winner Phylicia Rashad has been tapped for season three of Fox’s series Empire, which will premiere on September 21. She will join Broadway alum Taye Diggs, who, as previously reported, will take on the role of city councilman Angelo Dubois, and will play his mother Diana Dubois. She was last seen on the New York stage in off-Broadway’s Head of Passes; her performance earned her a Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play.No Pay, Nudity Will Bare All in NovemberAs announced, Gabriel Byrne, Nathan Lane and Laurie Metcalf will star in No Pay Nudity, which Variety writes is slated for a release this November. Helmed by Lee Wilkof and penned by Ethan Sandler, the comedy-drama follows an aging actor (Byrne), who has lost his way with his career; the film premiered at the Stony Brook Film Festival this July and received the Special Jury Prize Achievement in Filmmaking.Cast Announced for The Producers at Paper Mill PlayhouseThey can do it! The Producers will play the Paper Mill Playhouse from September 28 through October 23; the production is helmed by director Don Stephenson. David Josefsberg (An Act of God) is set to reprise Matthew Broderick’s role as Leo Bloom, while Michael Kostroff (The Nance) will take on Nathan Lane’s uproarious Max Bialystock. Broadway alums Ashley Spencer (Priscilla Queen of the Desert), Kevin Pariseau (Legally Blonde), Mark Price (Mary Poppins) and John Treacy Egan (Casa Valentina) will play Ulla, Roger De Bris, Carmen Ghia and Franz Liebkind, respectively. Jacob ben Widmar, Michael Biren, Courtney Brady, Tim Capodice, Jesse Carrey-Beaver, Scott Cote, Madeleine Doherty, Hannah Flam, Brad Frenette, John Jeffords, Jeffrey Johnson II, Naomi Kakuk, Jenny Laroche, Liz McKendry, Kelly Peterson, Emily Jeanne Phillips, Jessica Sheridan and Kate Wesler will round out the ensemble.Cheyenne Jackson and Alicia Silverstone ReuniteBroadway fave Cheyenne Jackson is coming to TV Land. He has been cast opposite his The Performers co-star Alicia Silverstone in the pilot American Woman. The 1970s-set series stars Silverstone as Bonnie, a single mother grappling with the end of her marriage; Jackson will charm onscreen as Greg, who sways Bonnie’s best friend (and his lover) to invest in his casting company. Catch him on American Horror Story’s sixth season, which premieres on September 14.P.S. Broadway alums Christina DeCicco (Evita), Cameron Folmar (The 39 Steps), Jack Noseworthy (Sweet Smell of Success) and Lenny Wolpe (Bullets Over Broadway) have been tapped to star in Delaware Theatre Company’s The War of the Roses. Bud Martin will direct the production, which begins performances on September 14. The deliciously dark comedy is based off of 1981 novel and 1989 film starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner as a married couple whose divorce becomes a take-no-prisoners face-off. Renée Elise Goldsberry View Comments Renee Elise Goldsberry(Photo: Emilio Madrid-Kuser)
BROOKVILE, Ind. – A Brookville man will have an extended prison stay after being sentenced this week for his role in a Tri-State Ponzi scheme.Jerry Smith, of Brookville, pleaded guilty in Franklin County Circuit Court last month to five felony counts of criminal securities fraud.Investigators say Smith, and co-conspirator Jason Snelling, ran an $8.9 million scheme selling unregistered investments while working for OneAmerica Securities.Instead of investing clients’ money as promised, the pair used the funds to pay for personal expenses, authorities said.Smith was sentenced this week to 20 years in prison and 20 years on probation. The judge ordered he pay $410,189 in restitution.Jail time will run concurrently with the 65-month federal jail sentence Smith is serving for mail fraud, wire fraud, and tax evasion, related to the Ponzi scheme.Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson’s Prosecution Assistance Unit assisted in the investigation.“Smith’s actions were deplorable and I’m pleased we were able to add additional jail time to his sentence,” said Secretary Lawson. “He took advantage of people who knew and trusted him. Plus, he never registered his products as required by law. This combination is typical of what we see in so many Ponzi schemes. I encourage all investors to protect themselves by checking with my office before investing, even if you know the person.”Securities Commissioner Carol Mihalik commented, “I would like to thank Franklin County Prosecutor Mel Wilhelm for his continued work on this case.”“Our offices have been collaborating on this case for almost five years now. Thanks to the continued cooperation between state and local officials, we have been able to hold Smith accountable for his actions and maximize his sentence.”
Syracuse picked up a big signing Wednesday – literally.Six-foot-8, 290-pound offensive tackle Denzel Ward from Simeon Vocational High School in Chicago signed with the Orange. Ward is a three-star recruit and is ranked No. 79 at his position by Scout.com.Broadcasting his decision on Campus Insiders, Ward reached first for a South Florida hat before redirecting his arm to his left over a Vanderbilt cap and grabbing a hat with Otto the Orange’s face on it.Going into national signing day Wednesday, Ward had narrowed his teams down to Syracuse, South Florida and Vanderbilt after turning down offers from other programs including Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.He joins two-star guard Aaron Roberts – another Chicago product – as the second offensive lineman in the Orange’s Class of 2014. Ward also becomes the seventh recruit from the Midwest to pledge to SU in the incoming class.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Comments Published on February 5, 2014 at 11:06 am Contact Phil: [email protected] | @PhilDAbb Facebook Twitter Google+
Super Eagles Coach Stephen Keshi has declared that his team is ready to face any of the other nine countries for next year’s World Cup in Brazil.The Big Boss at the post match conference at the U.J Esuene in Calabar said he is not in any way afraid of Ghana, Ivory Coast, Egypt or any of the other top countries still in the run for one of the five slots allocated to Africa at the next Mundial.No preference-I don’t have any preference for any of the teams left, whoever we are paired to face, we are ready to face them, the target is to be in Brazil 2014 and that is what we are pursuing as a team, stated the Big Boss.The Eagles will be clear on the next hurdle to be crossed in the run to the 2014 World Cup as CAF will be conducting a draw for the remaining 10 teams who will now play themselves in a two-legged tie to determine the final qualifying teams.