March 16, 2017
Former Hamilton Mayor Jack Rafferty (far right) and New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno (third from right) join (from right to left) Sheriff's candidate Chuck Farina, Mercer County Freeholder candidates Michelle Noone and Jeff Hewitson, and Mercer County convention parliamentarian Anthony Conti at last night's convention at The Stone Terrace by John Henry in Hamilton.
Hoping to end what has been one-party leadership in Mercer County Government in recent years, the Mercer County Republican Committee nominated Hamilton resident Chuck Farina to challenge current Mercer County sheriff Jack Kemler. The Mercer GOP nominated former Hamilton School Board president Jeff Hewitson and East Windsor resident Michelle Noone for the two freeholder spots that will be up for election in November.
Kemler ascended to the sheriff's office when embattled former sheriff Kevin Larkin abruptly resigned and has held the position since 2010. Farina, a Trenton native who now lives in Hamilton, is running for office for the first time after a long career with New Jersey Transit.
Hewitson, well known for his long tenure as a local basketball official , was also the organizers of the tournament which brought current NBA star Lebron James to Trenton as a high school player (when what was then called the Sovereign Bank Arena was a thriving facility that attracted top tier events).
Noone, who hails from East Windsor, has been active as a township committee member and brings a fresh perspective to government in her first run for elected office.
Together the Republican slate hopes to end the one-party rule of a freeholder board that raised its own salaries just after the 2016 election and voted for salary increases for Brian Hughes and the rest of the county administration (including Kemler) twice in a seven month span in 2016.