TOMS RIVER- New Jersey Assemblyman Gregory P. McGuckin yesterday joined his fellow Republicans in the New Jersey Assembly to overturn Governor Phil Murphy’s closure of state parks. McGuckin and Republicans, who are essentially powerless at the state level were defeated 52-27 by state Democrats.
Locally, McGuckin has remained completely silent after his longtime political ally, Freeholder Virginia Haines, 78, and her fellow GOP Freeholders enacted some Murphy’s Law of their own when they closed all of the county parks in McGuckin’s own district.
Now, McGuckin and his fellow Republicans are fighting Murphy to reopen state parks, but he wouldn’t dare challenge the Margaret Thatcher of Ocean County.
Ocean County boasts one of the largest public county park systems in the entire state and parks leave thousands upon thousands of acres of open space for residents to exercise, get fresh air and maintain safe social distancing.
Haines, according to county officials closed parks after Orthodox Jewish residents flocked to the Mantoloking Bay Bridge Park shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. That park is in McGuckin’s voting district.
McGuckin’s actions puts him on the list of public officials who are playing partisan politics during the COVID-19 pandemic. McGuckin earns $49,000 as an assemblyman and his firm is expected to make well over $2,000,000 this year in public patronage contracts…is still being paid while tens of thousands of every day people in his own district remain out of work and confined in their homes.