TOMS RIVER-As Democrats and Republicans in Toms River battle for control of the district’s $144 million annual budget, this week, mailers for candidates on both sides of the aisle tell two different stories.
The Democrats came out swinging for the fence in a recent mailer tying school board candidates Ginny Rhine, Al Schwartz and Teri Kubiel to Ocean County Republican Club Chairman George Gilmore and even former Superintendent Michael Ritacco, now serving jail time for his political corruption and bribery conviction.
Democrats used the mailer to place the three candidates in the batter’s box, in a skybox owned by Gilmore’s firm, who was the board attorney during the Ritacco era, over the summer, pitching some high and inside baseball puns along the way.
The Republican slate’s flyer presented a more conservative “none of that matters” image to the public, placing candidates with children in a park with slogans of “fiscal responsibility”. The postcard is essentially a smile for the camera and hope we can get through Tuesday sort of vibe.
While one side slung mud, the other just smiled and waved.
There is another.
A third candidate, Robert Onofrietti who is not backed by either candidate positioned himself and his candidacy on a conservative platform against establishment insider politicians as they battled each other for the power on the school board.