TOMS RIVER, NJ – Politics in Ocean County has become a blood sport in the past year and this weekend, New Jersey Assemblyman Greg McGuckin, Assemblyman John Catalano, and Senator James Holzapfel learned first hand. They are running for re-election in the June primary election against an “anti-Mo Hill” slate of candidates.
The trio, who sponsored a highly unpopular bill during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic posted a Facebook advertisement that read, “Republicans Jim Holzapfel, Greg McGuckin & John Catalano will continue to fight for Ocean County’s middle-class property taxpayers.”
In 2020, the three elderly men instead proposed a bill that sought to fine residents of Ocean County and New Jersey $15,000 for violating New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s draconian lockdown. Under that bill, people who ‘gathered’ during the COVID-19 lockdown that has lasted more than a full year would be fined up to $15,000 for violating “Murphy’s Law”.
Residents haven’t forgotten. The three are up for re-election in the 2021 June Republican Primary election and are being challenged by Toms River Republican Club President Geri Ambrosio.
“Where were you when we needed you to fight for this President Trump. You’re lightweights,” said Laurice Galletta.
“You guys have done nothing for the people of Ocean County,” responded Sharon Duffy.
Keith O’Donnell called the three pro-Murphy lockdown activists, “three blind mice”.
Others criticized McGuckin’s team for “selling out” to the Lakewood VAAD, a powerful committee that influences voter turnout in Lakewood and surrounding communities. McGuckin’s firm has a politically appointed professional contract with the township of Lakewood.
“You need to go. Do nothings, especially with that ancient BS fighting for property taxes. We’re all tired of that and tired of you taking up space,” said Tom McConnell.
“Wow paid taxes here for over 25 years. Good to see the faces of the people ripping me off. Both parties,” said Dario Lazzari.
They were called useless and one 50-year resident had no idea who they even were.
“I live here for 50 years. Same old, same old. Why didn’t you fight for the people when the water company went from billing every three months, to every month,” said Mary Melia-Quattrock. “Why did they get away with that. Meanwhile, in Forked River they still get billed every three months. What about the senior tax freeze?? I am a registered Republican, but I am sick of the politics in Toms River. Now Vacarri wants a local paper so he can get publicity so he can run for governor!! What a friggin joke! 30 years ago he was meeting people at the Toms River diner on a Sunday. People were sitting at the tables waiting to talk to him. Don’t tell me that was innocent! All corrupt!”
Steve Moss also said their name doesn’t ring a bell, “What have they done? I’ve lived here for 20+ years and never heard of them. You must suck at what ever it is that you do.”
Others were not so nice, comparing the large size and stature of McGuckin to Austin Powers character “Fat Bastard”, going beyond the envelope of good taste.
McGuckin, Holzapfel and Catalano are running under the Mo Hill backed establishment Republican ticket under “Never Trump” candidate Jack Ciattarelli, against the team of Hirsh Singh and the anti-Mo Hill Toms River Republicans.