In this November's election the seats currently held by Mayor Robert Walsh and Councilman Juan Malave will be up for grabs as neither has decided to run for another term.
According to Township Clerk Penny Wollman, on the Republican side Deputy Mayor William Gotto has filed to run for the mayor's seat while zoning board member Edward Guz has filed to run for the council seat.
On the Democrat ballot William Field and Cochise Doucette have both filed to run for mayor. Township Democratic Committee Chair Steve Morlino said Field was chosen to run on the official Monmouth County Party line. Morlino said Field serves as a professor of political science which should help him in the upcoming election. "His extensive knowledge of the political system and his being a long time Howell resident makes him an excellent choice to put Howell back on the right track," he said.
As he looks to the upcoming election Gotto said he is excited for the opportunity to run for the new position. "It's something that I had been thinking about for a while," he said. "It's a good opportunity at the right time."
Gotto said that while his personality may be different from Walsh's he does not expect much to change if he is elected.
"I think what we've been doing all along is setting an aggressive agenda for the betterment of Howell," he said. "Mayor Walsh and I very seldom if ever disagree on policy issues in the town. We have a very good relationship and if we did disagree about something we talked about it."
Walsh said after seven years of serving the town he wants to focus on family and business matters. "I've enjoyed it tremendously," he said of his time on council. Walsh said he also would not rule out running again in the future. "I just have some things I need to pay a lot of attention to over the next six months in my personal life and my business life," he said.
Walsh said he had decided not to run again several months ago and is "very comfortable with my decision."
Malave said work constraints kept him from running for a full term after finishing Susan Schroeder Clark's term following her .
"I'm spending a lot of time out of town due to business commitments and I'm not dedicating as much time as I feel I need to to the council," he said.
The decision not to run was a difficult one for Malave, who had previously served on the council. "I'm saddened by it because I really wanted to contribute more and I like serving the people of Howell."
With the remainder of his time on council Malave said he will be focused on getting the town's budget passed and working on making a smooth transition into the new municipal complex.