Freeholder Haines Says Joe Vicari Opposed Her Since Her Backroom Political Appointment in 2016

TOMS RIVER, NJ – Freeholder Virginia Haines said she feels like her fellow Freeholder, Joseph Vicari doesn’t like her and opposes her out of principle since her appointment to the Board of Chosen Freeholders was brokered in a backroom deal at the offices of former GOP Chairman Joe Buckelew back in 2016.  Vicari, who often was at odds with former GOP Chairman George Gilmore has never said why, but Haines’ initial non-elected appointment was blessed by former Chairman George Gilmore at that same meeting, according to several sources involved in the discussions at the time.  Could it be that Vicari who has fought through decades of smear campaigns against him has managed to win election after election on his own merit, while Haines was propped up on the party line in 2019 to secure a victory in which she came in second behind Jack Kelly?

In a story at the Asbury Park Press today, Haines, “Vicari…has treated her with condescension and has sought to undermine her ever since she was sworn onto the board in 2016, she feels. His opposition was always a foregone conclusion.”

“He told me he was sorry for being so tough,” Haines told the Asbury Park Press. “I told (Vicari), ‘it’s OK, you do it to me all the time.’”

Haines was upset after Vicari led the charge to shoot down a proposal by Haines that would free up the $60,000,000 Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund to be used to bail out politically connected mayors such as Mo Hill in Toms River, who was seeking $2,000,000 from the fund to purchase already preserved land.  Under the rules set forth by now-deceased former Ocean County Freeholder John Bartlett, that money cannot be used to buy public land already preserved by another governing body, just private land, to prevent it from being developed by real estate developers.

It is now rumored that Haines will be running as Lt. Governor to “never Trumper” Jack Ciattarelli. Ciattarelli, who once said President Trump is a charlatan, not fit to be President is running against liberal socialist Phil Murphy.  Heaven help us.