The former Bridgewater Police Chief and lifelong Republican will be a Democratic nominee for the post of Monmouth County Sheriff.

Manuel Caravel is changing parties and will challenge incumbent President Sean Golden in November. He has already criticized Golden’s dual role as the county’s top elected law enforcement official and as chairman of the Monmouth County Republican Party.

It will be a difficult battle for Caravel. Democrats have not won an election in Manmouth County since Barbara McMorrow defeated Republican Andrew Lucas in the 2006 freestyle race.

Caravel, a Manasquan resident, spent nearly 30 years as a police officer in Bridgewater and worked as a chief for three years before retiring in 2016.

If he wins, he will become the second Portuguese-American sheriff of the state. Armand Fauntour has been the sheriff of Essex County since 1991.

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