TOMS RIVER, NJ – Toms River Township Director of Public Law, New Jersey Assemblyman Gregory P. McGuckin said the March 2020 failed coup of the Toms River Republican Club was not his idea, but the idea of Mayor Mo Hill and his fellow 2019 council candidates. On Thursday, the Toms River Republican Club met to discuss Hill and McGuckin’s latest plan to take over the club and McGuckin denied he was involved. Before the meeting, the executive board of the club met behind closed doors and passed a bylaw that said club members were barred from recording future meetings. Shortly after that executive session meeting adjourned, Thursday’s entire meeting was recorded and provided to Shore News Network anonymously.
Several members of the club confirmed the authenticity of the recording in which McGuckin denied that the failed March coup was his plan. Instead, McGuckin said it was a plan hatched by Toms River Mayor Maurice “Mo” Hill newly elected Toms River Councilmen Matt Lotano, Josh Kopp and Kevin Geoghegan. Shortly after the Toms River club refused to endorse Mo Hill for mayor, Hill and Geoghegan resigned from the club and formed a political ticket to challenge the club. After winning their election on the back of the Orthodox Jewish bloc vote in November, the Hill team, sent McGuckin, who is a member of the executive committee for the club with a message.
“Club President Gerri Ambrosio must resign or we won’t join your club,” the Hill team said in a message through McGuckin.
McGuckin now claims he was only the messenger and not the orchestrator of the failed hostile takeover. Club members flatly rejected McGuckin’s very generous offer for the entire club leadership to step down so Mo Hill could control the club.
When confronted at the meeting about the plan, McGuckin said, “That’s not true.”
“I didn’t force anything,” McGuckin screamed. “I didn’t ask anything.”
“What happened was Mo Hill, Josh Kopp, Matt Lotano and Kevin Geoghegan said they would not come back to the club unless Gerri resigned, that’s what happened,” McGuckin said.
The room was shocked. Shortly after Ambrosio rejected McGuckin, her husband was demoted from his township job by Mayor Maurice Hill.
Later, McGuckin’s daughter Kelsey McGuckin-Anthony was heard shouting obscenities out at club members with some very vulgar and colorful language and Councilwoman Maria Maruca argued with the mother of Gerri Ambrosio. It was a scene, created by the McGuckin faction right out of a Jerry Springer episode. In essence, it was a textbook “sh-t show”, but the club once again rejected Hill’s attempt to take over the club.
McGuckin and Hill need the club because in 2021, there will be many primary elections in the county and Greg McGuckin is up for re-election for New Jersey Assembly. McGuckin is now at risk of losing the Republican party line. Losing the party line for McGuckin could mean an end to his political career in Trenton. Also, controlling the line in the 2021 council primary election is important as the club will also face a primary election for the ship council. If McGuckin loses influence on the Toms River Council, his new job as head of the law division for the township could also be in jeopardy.