TOMS RIVER-On Tuesday night, Toms River Mayor-Elect Maurice “Mo” Hill hosted a holiday party of Republican Party establishment ‘elites’ at the bayside Aqua Blue restaurant. In attendance were Hill’s running mates Josh Kopp, Matt Lotano and Josh Kopp.
In November’s election, Hill skidded past the finish line with a slim margin of just under 300 votes over his opponent Jonathan Petro. Hill accomplished this goal by securing the 1,500 or so bloc votes from the local Orthodox Jewish community. Without them, it could have been a landslide victory for Petro.
Joining hill were two of New Jersey’s many gubernatorial hopefuls, Jack Ciattarelli and Doug Steinhardt. Both are making moves indicating a run for the governor’s seat in 2021.
Also in attendance were new GOP boss, Frank Holman with his trademark toothpick in his mouth and New Jersey Assemblyman Gregory McGuckin of the politically connected law firm Dasti, Murphy & McGuckin. McGuckin was appointed by Hill to run the Mayor-elect’s transition team. This week, McGuckin sent a letter to 44 township employees putting their employment on notice.
Ocean County is vital to the New Jersey GOP in a statewide election. In 2017, Ciattarelli lost the Republican primary to Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. Steinhardt is the Chairman of the New Jersey GOP. In order to win, against the Democrats in 2021, the GOP candidate will have to win far more than the 200 plus margin Hill’s team garnered in 2019 in Toms River.
Photos by Mo Hill for Mayor, Jack Ciattarelli, Doug Steinhardt, Facebook.