NJEA endorses Phil Murphy, Toms River pay-to-play Republican Assemblyman for state assembly

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TOMS RIVER, NJ – The NJEA, New Jersey’s largest teachers union today drop mail pieces across Toms River and Brick Township endorsing Phil Murphy for Governor. The same mailer also identified the NJEA’s endorsements of two candidates running for New Jersey State Assembly.

Sean Spiller, President of the NJEA announced his powerful union also endorsed Brick Township Democrat Emma Mammano and Toms River Republican Gregory P. McGuckin.

McGuckin made headlines during the pandemic after it was learned that his law firm holds nearly two dozen pay-to-play contracts for legal work across Ocean County. McGuckin was appointed by Toms River Mayor Maurice Hill to the position of Director of Law and Public Safety in a no-bid contract during a virtual town hall meeting last spring. That contract is expected to net McGuckin upwards of $400,000 annually. He is also the lawyer for several other towns but is often not present during their weekly town council meetings. On Tuesday night, McGuckin was absent from the Jackson Township. He was also not at the Toms River Township meeting held at the same time. Both towns pay for McGuckin’s legal services.

According to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, McGuckin was paid $1.6 million for publicly appointed ‘pay to play’ legal services contracts.

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His firm paid $18,760 in political campaign contributions to candidates in return for those contracts.

McGuckin billed Jackson Township $196,000 in 2020. McGuckin billed public agencies in Toms River $275,000 in 2021, including Toms River Township the Toms River Township Planning Board, among others.

McGuckin’s running mate, John Catalano was not endorsed by the NJEA.