Michael Penna


I am Michael Penna and I am running for Freeholder to put an end to the one party rule that has dominated our county for far too long.  

I chose to make Monmouth County my home because I love the people, the communities and the varied environment of this great county.  I live near the beach in Belmar and I work in the rural section of Wickatunk in Marlboro Township. 

I teach English and Drama to at-risk and special needs students at Collier High School.  My daily commute brings me through areas of the county that enjoy great prosperity as well as areas challenged by poverty and need.  For too long, our Freeholders have ignored these communities.  I am running for Freeholder to be their voice and representative.  

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, my education, training and experience have prepared me to advocate for all residents of the county and not just the wealthy.  I am driven by my commitment to social justice and equality. 

I am devoted to preserving and protecting our environment.  I am committed to expanding and ensuring access to desperately needed social services and to a quality education for all residents regardless of their zip code or the size of their bank account.  

We grow and strengthen as a county, as a community, when we all grow strong together.  

Moira Nelson


I’m Moira Nelson and I’m running for Monmouth County Freeholder. Born and raised in Middletown, I attended the town's public schools, then graduated from Red Bank Catholic in 1992, and am now a homeowner in Asbury Park.  A New York University grad, I am a long-time fashion industry executive and a former small business owner.  In my spare time, I’m dedicated to civic engagement, justice, and advocating for those suffering from substance use disorders.

I’m running for office because it is becoming increasingly unaffordable to live here – especially for our most vulnerable neighbors.  Affordability and access to services for all residents - particularly social services - will be top priorities. 

As a drug policy reform advocate, I’m deeply concerned about the opioid crisis that is tearing families apart. Much more can be done if we truly treat it as an urgent public health crisis and implement a common sense harm reduction approach.  

Historically, Monmouth County has been a leader in innovation and technology.  We can and should be leading the state in planning for a resilient, sustainable future that safeguards our natural resources and that creates opportunity and good, "green" jobs. We should be committed to regional planning and smart development that is laser-focused on storm water solutions, flood mitigation, the shoreline and erosion (not just "down the shore" but along the Bayshore too.)  The health of our local economy is directly correlated to the health of our environment.

We need a clear, ambitious, innovative vision that honors our heritage and carries us through the 21st century. I am committed to listening, to focusing on solutions, and if elected, I would be honored to represent the County where I was born and raised to prioritize your concerns on the Board of Chosen Freeholders.