Party Elite Choice for Gilmore Successor Hints He Will Retire if Chosen, Keep Public Contracts

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TOMS RIVER-In a report this weekend by the New Jersey Globe, the GOP establishment forerunner to replace former Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore said he will retire from his lucrative accounting firm which receives millions of dollars annually in public contracts if he is chosen to lead the party on May 15th.

“Holman has the backing of Gilmore and Joseph Buckalew, a former county chairman and a respected elder statesman,” the Globe added.

Holman did not say his firm will abandon their publicly appointed contracts with municipalities, school boards and utility authorities countywide if he is chosen.   Party elite don’t seem worried about conflicts of interest should Holman win the contested race.   Freeholder Virginia Haines, who made the initial endorsement announcement for Holman said nobody in the room was concerned about tat.

“Nobody seemed too worried about that,” Haines said. “The thought never came into account because that’s just the way it’s been through the years.”

He did say, if elected, he would bring more women into power in Ocean County. “We need to elect more women and young people,” he said.

According to the Globe, Holman praised Gilmore’s track record – Ocean County Republicans have not lost a countywide election since 1989 – and said his heart goes out to his friend, who was convicted last week on three federal tax charges.

“He says he will be retiring soon and will have the time to devote to his party responsibilities,” the Globe reported.

After a secret meeting was held last week between Ocean County’s top level party leaders, freeholders, state senators, state assemblymen and Ocean County Sheriff Michael Mastronardy, the party issued a directive that it would back Holman to succeed Gilmore.

County mayors, municipal chairs and municipal club presidents were not invited to the upper-echelon decision making luncheon held at the office of Connor, Strong & Buckalew. Several members of the party who were not invited to the powerbrokering meeting, including mayors and club chairmen expressed concerns that the party elite would make an endorsement without their consultation or opinions being heard.  Many have signaled support for Holman’s opponent.

The 900 member Ocean County Republican County Committee will vote on May 15th between Holman and Island Heights engineer Frank Sadeghi.