TOMS RIVER-As three sets of Toms River Republicans battle for the brass ring, the official party line on the November 2019 election ballot, some are working overtime to distance themselves from their relationship with former GOP party boss George Gilmore.
All three candidates had officially called for the resignation of Gilmore as the party’s chairman, but two are putting in extra hours to make sure voters know they are no longer under the influence of the former chairman.
Former Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato, who started the trend of charging drug dealers in the deaths of addicts said, “While I am deeply saddened by this news on a personal level and respect his constitutional right to appeal the verdict, I am hopeful George does what is best for the party and steps aside as chairman while he continues his legal fight.”
Candidates Maurice Hill and Daniel Rodrick however have made their separation from Gilmore a cornerstone of their campaign platforms.
Daniel Rodrick, a Democrat until switching parties in 2018 is leading the charge against Gilmore, whose firm actually happens to also be his own personal attorney. Attorney Jean Cipriani of the firm Gilmore and Monohan represented Rodrick in his defense lawsuit against the “Bernie Sanders Tinder Girl”.
In 2018, Rodrick was served with court papers by his former Brick Democrat colleague Robyn Gedrich, who is more commonly known as the woman who used the dating website Tinder to solicit men for Bernie Sanders votes in 2017. Gedrich sued Rodrick for his role in what she believed to be his involvement in fake news website that promoted a story about Gedrich recieving a position from Brick Democrat Mayor John Ducey. Today, Rodrick’s opponents alledge he is behind the new “Jersey Shore Independent” blog site that criticizes Republican candidates.
After leaving the Democrat party in 2018, Rodrick turned to George Gilmore to defend him against the Gedrich lawsuit. After being turned down by Republicans, the former Democrat formed his own splinter “Republican” party in April.
His opponent Maurice “Mo Hill” has also been trying to create space between himself and Gilmore after a long mutual political relationship turned sour.
“Mr. Gilmore’s insistence on holding onto his positions of public trust despite being convicted by a jury of his peers does not serve the best interest of the people of Ocean County and the Republican Party,” Hill said of Gilmore.
Hill was an ally of Gilmore’s until he blamed Gilmore for being passed up to run for Congress in 2016. Instead Gilmore and the Republican party chose Tom MacArthur who proved that he could fund a successful congressional campaign against the Democrats. MacArthur ended up winning that election, but not before Hill, who serves as a board member of the South Jersey Transportation Authority awarded Gilmore a $245,000 annual contract with the authority.
Now with Gilmore being one of their main platform talking points in the June Republican primary, both candidates are working overtime to ensure their past relationships with the chairman are well concealed to voters. Rodrick is working hard to convince Republican voters that despite being a candidate for the Democrat party since 2015 and being a guest at Governor Phil Murphy’s inaugural ball in 2017 that he is truly the one to represent the Republican party in November.
With party boss being a cornerstone in their campaigns, both candidates should publicly announce their endorsement for the future chairman of the party.
Neither candidate has announced their support publicly between “Six Million Dollar Man“, accountant Frank Holman and entrepreneur engineer Frank Sadeghi.