BERKELEY TOWNSHIP, NJ – An end of the summer barbecue hosted by the Ocean County Republican Party turned into an end of summer fireworks spectacle. Now the chairman of the party has reportedly told U.S. Congressional Candidate David Richter, “It’s him, or me!” Ocean County GOP Chairman Frank Holman was so upset when he learned the candidate was going to attend a function being hosted by a rival faction of the Ocean County GOP and he blamed former Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore.
A year-long internal Ocean County GOP feud has spilled over into the 3rd district Congressional race between Republican David Richter and Socialist Liberal Democrat, Andy Kim. On Tuesday, GOP Chairman Holman hosted an end of summer barbecue to raise money for Richter’s campaign. After a spat with Richter over his attendance at a Southern Ocean County Conservative Republican fundraiser, Holman, his party finance chairman and others pulled their support for Richter at the event they held in his honor. Holman then called every ranking leader in the Republican party still loyal to him to not show up at his own fundraiser.
Holman publicly views the Southern Ocean County as a threat to his leadership and says his arch-nemesis, former GOP Chairman George Gilmore is behind it. The PAC is run by non-Holman aligned faction of Republicans from the southern end of Ocean County. Still, many party leaders and donors ignored Holman’s hissy fit and attended, because after all, this is all about Republicans winning back Congress and not about soothing the Holman clan’s fragile egos.
Noticeably absent was New Jersey Assemblyman Gregory P. McGuckin who has forcibly threatened many in the party who have shown support for the Southern Ocean County PAC. Ocean County’s Board of Chosen Freeholders also boycotted the Richter engagement, including RNC state committeewoman Virginia Haines, 74. It’s not the first time the Holman sect of the party threatened those who disagreed with them. McGuckin and Holman have withheld funds in the past from Berkeley Township’s Republican Club for also trying to maintain the peace and staying out of the infighting caused by Holman, McGuckin and pay to play lawyer Jerry Dasti. Amato’s team, in the end, did not need Holman’s money or emotional support. The Berkeley Republican ticket devasted their Democrat opponents last November by a more than 3 to 1 victory. Holman told the Berkeley Republican Party, “You will be on your own island” after Holman felt that he was crossed by that club. In the end, they were on their own island, as the top GOP ticket in all of Ocean County.
Richter may not be in the same position to weather the wrath of Holman, Dasti and McGuckin as his campaign is running neck and neck with Kim and the victory in CD-3 would deal a major blow to the Democrat party as they see the race as one of the most important wins to achieve in 2020. Insiders with the Southern Ocean County Conservative Republican PAC have pledged their support to Richter if Holman drops official party support for the candidate.
Holman, who took his ball and went home, instead of fulfilling his duties as chairman, went out to dinner with his wife. Holman’s pride has nearly destroyed the Ocean County GOP since he took office in 2019. In Toms River alone, there are at least three feuding GOP factions and Republicans at the county level appear to be split down the middle. Holman and his wild west way of running the party has been criticized by many high ranking party offcials who want to return to governing their towns and end the division Holman, Dasti, McGuckin, and Haines bring to the table. Holman’s lack of leadership has been evident since he took the job last year. Although he promised to step away from his company, which earns $6,000,000 annually in public contracts, Holman has been fully engaged in political pay to play and strongarming of weak mayors countywide. Many within the party feel Holman doesn’t even want to be the chairman, often leaving party problems behind for long hunting trips out west. Holman has used his party power position in the past year to wheel and deal political contracts. Holman crime syndicate Cappo Mayor Michael Reina this year said Holman gave his blessing to allow Reina to use Jackson Township’s millions of dollars in public pay-to-play contracts to soothe open, festering party wounds. That plan doesn’t appear to have worked.
New Jersey GOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt acknowledged his presence at the latest rodeo, but would not comment on the incident.
“George! George! George!”
Holman once again blamed former GOP Chairman George Gilmore for his childish outburst this week.
“George needs to refrain from raising funds for a splinter PAC that competes with county fundraising,” said Holman to the New Jersey Globe. “It’s unfair to fundraising efforts we need to support our campaign in Ocean County.”
If the Ocean County GOP loses the very close race between Richter and Kim, it would be a testament to Holman’s leadership or lack thereof since taking control of the party. Holman’s crew earlier this year attempted a failed coup of the Toms River Republican Club along with Toms River Mayor Maurice Hill. That failed coup brought the seriousness of the divide in the Ocean County GOP into the public spotlight for the first time.
Holman, who was supposed to be the emcee for the event was replaced by his vice-chairwoman Barbara Ann Lanuto. The event charged $2,800 for corporate sponsorship, $1,000 for event sponsorship, and $75 to attend. It is unsure at this time whether or not Holman will release the donations received to the Richter campaign.
New Jersey Assemblyman Gregory P. McGuckin has been Holman’s key enforcer on the street, threatening many elected party officials to join “Team Holman”, or else.
“You chose the wrong team and now you have to pay the price,” McGuckin told one elected member of the Jackson Township Municipal Committee recently.