Ocean County leadership verbally endorses Sheriff Michael Mastronardy for GOP Chairman

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TOMS RIVER, NJ – After meeting for a sit-down dinner among the Ocean County GOP’s top brass last Wednesday at Artisan’s Restaurant, a unanimous decision was verbally made to Sheriff Michael Mastronardy to endorse him as the party’s next county chairman.

Mastronardy, a retired Toms River police chief now has the support of the party to move forward, even if challenged by former GOP Chairman George Gilmore.

The leaders, including many of the party’s leaders, including Senator Bob Singer, GOP Vice Chairwoman Barbara Lanuto, and elder GOP statesman Joe Buckalew were all unanimous with other party leaders in their decision to back Mastronardy to replace retiring Chairman Frank Holman.

Holman’s short tenure will next month when the county GOP committee, made up of representatives from each municipality come together to cast their vote.

As of now, Gilmore has not announced his official intention to challenge Mastronardy, but insiders say the former chairman has not ruled out the possibility of challenging his longtime friend and political ally for the seat.

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High ranking state elected officials have told Shore News Network that they believe Mastronardy can reunite the fractured party that has been split since 2019 as a feud between Holman and Gilmore raged behind the scenes, coming to fruition at last week’s Ocean County Commissioner’s meeting where the Holman faction publicly went after Gilmore leaning allies Jack Kelly and Joe Vicari. The assault, led by Virginia E. Haines was the most public display of the bitter infighting that has nearly destroyed the framework of the once-powerful Ocean County Republican organization.