Embattled and Split, Jackson GOP Endorses Mastronardy Urges Voting at Lakewood Polling Daycare Center

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LAKEWOOD, NJ – The Jackson GOP, which has been fighting an internal civil war since before the June primary election has endorsed Sheriff Michael Mastronardy to be the next Ocean County GOP Chairman. Last week, the Manchester, Brick, and The Toms River Regular Republican clubs endorsed former GOP Chairman George Gilmore. Gilmore and Mastronardy, longtime friends are now battling to become the next chairman of the sharply divided Ocean County GOP.

The Jackson GOP urged residents to vote at the newly announced polling station located in Lakewood at Circle Time Daycare, 520 New Egypt Road.

Related: Jackson Republicans Narrowly Survive in Failed Takeover Attempt of Party Leadership by Religious Voting Bloc

“It is crucial that Jackson turn out to vote in the race,” the club, which saw major losses to an Orthodox Jewish voting block allied with Jackson Mayor Michael Reina seize as many as 32 seats on the largely obscure, but influential municipal GOP committee.

Mastronardy, who also serves as sheriff has told Republicans he can easily manage both difficult jobs, adding that he will defer many of the GOP management functions to a political consultant in Monmouth County in recent phone calls to eligible voters.

Gilmore is trying to work his way back to his former position after being pardoned by President Donald J. Trump last January of previous federal charges of failing to pay corporate payroll taxes and making false statements on a bank loan application.

The FBI and IRS sought to collar Gilmore on tax evasion charges after a yearslong investigation into the former powerful GOP Chairman, but a jury found him not guilty on those claims. Critics have accused Gilmore of trying to get back into power simply to settle IRS debts, a claim the former chairman denies.

Mastronardy has routinely been accused by local newspapers such as the Asbury Park Press and Patch as being one of New Jersey’s most prolific public payroll double dippers.

According to the 2015 report by Patch, Ocean County Sheriff Michael Mastronardy earns $231,315 annually including a $107,250 salary and $124,065 pension as a Toms River Township police chief retiree.

According to NJ PERS, Mastronardy earns $210,136.00 annually from his public pension in addition to his $107,000 salary as sheriff, making him the highest-paid public official in Ocean County with a combined annual income of $318,136.00.

Mastronardy, who is seeking to become chairman says he doesn’t like interparty conflict and said in January sheriffs in New Jersey should be restricted in participating in politics.

When asked about become the next chairman, Mastronardy said, “I hate this.”

It is unclear if either candidate will be able to mend the fractured party after the election dust settles next week. The party has been feuding with itself over the past few years internally but is still able to win elections in the majority Republican county by default under absent GOP Chairman Frank B. Holman who is stepping down in July after three years of being unable to control the rampant infighting within the party behind closed doors and sometimes in plain sight of the public eye.

Shore News Network has been covering the Five Towns NJ, including Lakewood, Brick, Toms River, Jackson and Howell Since 2008! Here’s what else is going on in the 5 Towns NJ area.

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