An Open Letter from Tom Keene

Well, just when you think it cannot get any nastier it gets nastier. The newest allegations leveled at the Lear & Hendricks campaign make their successful fundraising efforts seem downright nefarious.  Candidate Mullock and the propagandist who poses as a journalist has raised the cry that “Cape May is for Sale.”  Big money from out of Town is doing the buying. The big spenders will expect a quid pro quo when it comes to City business.  There is so much wrong with this narrative, that it is hard to know where to start.


Let’s just look at the money, a matter of public record. Of the $44,000 raised by the campaign, $ 27,900 came from donors who contributed over $300. Of that amount, $6450. came from donors who do not list their work or business residence as Cape May.  So for less than 15% of total funds raised, these “big” donors expect to “buy” the City. It should also be noted that the campaign’s “little” donors contributed $15,479. to Lear and Hendrick’s which is far more than either Mullock or Bezaire have raised.  Are “little” donors trying to buy the City or is it perhaps, that Cape May residents are expressing their preference for City leadership?


Now let’s talk about the process that Mullock and friend have said is being bought and paid for.  Chuck Lear and Tricia Hendricks do not control the bidding process. Mullock is indicting layers of City personnel who manage and review the bidding process. He impugns the honesty and integrity of the City Manager, the Chief Finance Officer, the City Clerk, and the City’s qualified purchasing agent.  And Mr. Mullock is not operating out of ignorance, He knows the process and he knows the people. But in an effort to get a political advantage he does not seem to mind throwing them under the bus. The quality of the incumbents in the four positions mentioned is unassailable and the envy of other seashore communities.


Finally, much has been made about the amount of money raised by the campaign as is if it is something to be ashamed of.  Why? If I were Mayor Lear or Deputy Mayor Hendricks I would see these contributions as an affirmation of a job well done and an expectation for continuing progress. 

The writer knows for a fact that many of the contributions on the record reflect the genuine appreciation that the community has for leadership during COVID when unprecedented decisions had to be made to save our economy. Others have contributed because of Lear and Hendrick’s unwavering support for the preservation of the Sewell Tract. And the list goes on. 

There is no apology necessary when good work is acknowledged but there is deep gratitude that it is.

Thomas Keene





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  1. October 19, 2020 / 8:40 pm

    Well said. He tried to smear my reputation with a lawsuit over ballot position. He tried to delay the delivery of Cape May City ballots to the voters.. He had no case.

    Let’s get back to civility. Let’s get back to dignity in local elections. Stop the smears and let the voter’s decide without interference.

    Rita Marie Fulginiti
    Cape May County Clerk


    • Mark
      October 20, 2020 / 7:05 pm

      Ms. Fulginetti,

      The law is clear as to what should be done to be grouped together on a ballot. That does not appear to have been done, but you gave Ms. Hendricks a better ballot position anyway. That doesn’t mean you are dishonest, but it does mean that the action you took benefitted Ms. Hendricks. I have no idea whether you did so because you wanted to help Mr. Lear and Ms. Hendricks or for some other reason. That is one of the problems when things like this happen. The fact that a judge did not overturn what you had done at the late date he was able to consider the issue does not make what was done right.

      I agree that we should get back to civility and dignity, and following the law as it is written.