Officials hash out plans for New Jersey’s 12th District leadership future

NJ Assemblyman Alex Sauickie

JACKSON TOWNSHIP, NJ – New Jersey State Senator Sam Thompson is 87 years old, but he’s not ready to quit serving the 12th New Jersey legislative district despite having a Republican primary challenger.

Old Bridge Mayor Owen Henry says it’s time for Thompson to retire, but the elder statesman says he’s not going anywhere just yet.

Thompson said Mayor Henry is engaging in age discrimination. That’s what’s being said in the spotlight.

Behind the scenes, a plan is being discussed to stave off an internal battle in the 12th District by placing former Jackson Township councilman Alex Sauickie on the sacrificial political altar. Sauickie holds the seat, which has traditionally been an Ocean County seat, but in order to avoid escalating the civil war amongst Republicans in Ocean and Monmouth County, a deal is being offered on the table.

Party officials in Ocean County are willing to compromise and slide Henry into Sauickie’s seat. After all, Sauickie is simply keeping the chair warm until the GOP finds a replacement. He is filling the late Ron Dancer’s expired term.

In the proposal, Ocean County Republicans would consider sacrificing Sauickie, who, as a councilman in Jackson, is still dealing with two federal civil rights lawsuits and an attorney general’s office suit in New Jersey regarding the township’s alleged civil rights violations against Orthodox Jews.

Sauickie is also an ally of GOP Chairman George Gilmore, who is at odds with Monmouth County GOP Chairman and Sheriff Shaun Golden.

In exchange for allowing Sauickie to be replaced in an effort to keep the peace, Henry would serve as an assemblyman until the day Thompson finally decides to call it quits. At that time, Henry could be positioned along with Rob Clifton to become the next District 12 Senator.

Related News:   China Comes Out Against Forced Sale Of TikTok As Pressure Mounts

When the assembly seat becomes available again, the Ocean County Republicans would once again decide who gets it. In essence, the seat would be a short-term lease to the Monmouth and Middlesex GOP. That seat could be taken in the next cycle or two by Jackson Township Mayor Michael Reina, who was just re-elected to his fourth term as mayor in 2022. Reina could be in line for the seat in 2025 or after his mayoral term ends in 2027.

Losing in the deal would be Sauickie and Gilmore, while Golden can put another notch on his belt in his long-running feud with Gilmore. The Monmouth and Middlesex GOP could essentially retain full control of the district, putting Gilmore on ice in the district, unless he mounts his own primary challenge in June.

Another loser in the deal would be former Jackson Township powerbroker Clara Glory. Glory has lost much of her influence and power in Jackson and Ocean County after being solidly defeated in November by Reina’s team. Glory also has a job at the District 12 offices as a legislative aide, one she would surely lose in a regime change. Rumors have been swirling in political circles that Glory is ready to move out of the district after crushing defeats that have chipped away severely at her influence in local politics. She had twice listed her Jackson home for sale and sold the land where her family business, a local bodega, sits to developers.

Henry is a successful three-term mayor in Old Bridge. The only thing left on the table is the bean counting to see if such a deal could actually be pulled off by the numbers.