Polhemus Won't Debate With Democratic Opponent
Veteran sheriff turns down invitation from Ocean County League of Women Voters
Eighty-four-year-old Ocean County Sheriff William L. Polhemus has turned down a request by the Ocean County League of Women Voters for a debate with his Democratic opponent, a league official said.
"It is not going to take place," said OCLWV President Sheila McVeigh.
Former Toms River Mayor Paul C. Brush, who is Armstrong's campaign manager, said it was "unfortunate" that Polhemus will not participate.
"Bob Armstrong has accepted because he feels it is important to have an informed electorate, but the sheriff has rejected the invitation," Brush said. "This is a repeat of the campaign three years ago when Sheriff Polhemus refused to participate in any public forums with Mr. Armstrong."
Polhemus has served as Ocean County Sheriff since 1985. Prior to that, he was police chief of the Seaside Heights Police Department for 35 years.
Polhemus could not be reached for comment today. Patch was told he was "in a meeting."
Armstrong, 68, has a law enforcement career that spans more than 40 years.
Armstrong served as a special agent with the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations and later as a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to his website.
Armstrong then began a second career as state investigator/detective with New Jersey Department of Criminal Justice and later as a special agent/forensic accountant with the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation.
McVeigh said she e-mailed Polhemus and offered to let him submit a written statement which would be read by a moderator. She has not heard back from him, she said.
Polhemus is also being challenged by former Stafford Township Mayor John McMenamin, who is running an an independent under the slogan "Call of Duty." McMenamin now lives in Surf City.