JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ – A political strategy hatched by the Ocean County Republican Party to find a new home for embattled Jackson Township Mayor Michael Reina apparently has a very fatal flaw. According to party insiders, this week in Ocean County, County GOP Chairman Frank B. Holman touted a plan that would have Senator Sam Thompson of New Jersey’s 12th legislative district step down and retire, being replaced by Assemblyman Ron Dancer. Reina would then take Dancer’s seat in the New Jersey Assembly.
The move would solve many problems for Holman. First, it would remove Reina from his seat as the Jackson Township mayor, where he fields complaints regularly from community leaders in Lakewood, Jackson and Toms River over Reina’s handling of the growing Orthodox community in those towns.
With Reina gone, Holman is hoping to repair his relationship with the Lakewood Republicans who want Reina out of Jackson.
There’s just one problem. Today, Senator Thompson said he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
“I don’t know where they came up with that idea, but nobody told me about it,” Thompson said. “I’m not stepping down and not only am I running in 2021 and I’m going to win again in 2021 and I’m hoping to do it again in 2023.”
If that’s the plan, Reina will be waiting until at least 2027 for his shot in Trenton, but first Holman will have to win re-election as the county chairman in 2022.