LACEY TOWNSHIP-Things are starting to look dim for Ocean County GOP Chairman Frank Holman’s prospects of being a delegate for President Donald J. Trump at the 2020 Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina this August. The prestigious honor being sought by Holman has been marred by Holman’s involvement and often-times, lack-thereof in the never-ending saga in Jackson Township between the Jackson Township Republican Club and Orthodox Jews.
Holman last month met with Dr. Rich Roberts, an influential donor to President Donald J. Trump, but that meeting didn’t go well. In the time since, it is suspected that Roberts is behind an avalanche of marketing and advertising directed at Jackson Township Mayor Michael Reina and Holman. On the website, Jackson Families for Justice, Holman is portrayed as a supporter of bigotry who has turned a blind eye to actions committed by his political allies Clara Glory, Jackson GOP Chairwoman and Todd Porter, Jackson GOP club president.
The problem is Holman is close friends and allies, Porter and Glory. The pair was condemned by state and national level Republican leaders after posts made on Facebook were published to the Lakewood Scoop. Those posts contained insensitive comments about Orthodox Jews. Porter apologized for the comments made, but Glory remains firm in her stance that she owes nobody an apology.
“I’m not apologizing to anyone,” she said. “My comments were taken out of context.”
That left Holman in a pickle. While facing national and state party condemnation, Holman chose to remain silent, which put him at odds with the Orthodox Jewish voters in Ocean County and possibly with one of Trump’s largest donors.
“Bigotry” is the heading of the website’s section that includes Holman. Red flags have emerged in Holman’s quest to represent the Republican Party at the convention and now with Holman’s backyard issue being broadcast on social media, You Tube and Fox News almost 24-7, it has caught the attention of those screening him for the opportunity.
Another problem for Holman is Dr. Roberts. Roberts donated over $1,000,000 to the Trump campaign in 2016 and could have the power behind the scenes to have Holman removed from the selection process. Although the two met at Holman’s request to plead for mediation in Jackson Township’s ongoing lawsuits, the meeting ended without action from either side.
While the problem on the ground in Jackson is more complex than the face value of the commercial blitz, outside of Ocean County, the ads are sending a powerful message, especially in Washington, D.C., where they have come to the attention of national party figures who may want to distance themselves from what is going on in Holman’s neck of the woods.
Holman’s indecision on the matter could very well lead to him being overlooked as a delegate for the President, whose administration has been recognized as the most Jewish friendly presidency in history. Holman’s narrative doesn’t fit the Trump administration’s support for the Jewish community and the party is trying to navigate through the process.