TOMS RIVER, NJ – Joe Vicari, of Toms River is New Jersey’s longest serving elected official and now he’s running for Governor. Since 1981, the electorate of Ocean County have consistently re-elected Vicari who served as a member of the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders until it was changed this year to the Ocean County Board of Commissioners. He is now serving his 14th term on the board.. Vicari, a Republican is hoping to get the chance to run against New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.
Although Vicari has vehemently opposed the policies of the Governor, he contends he maintains a strong working relationship withe the Governor’s administration, strengthened through his work in Ocean County during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ocean County is a critical GOP primary battleground and Ocean County GOP Chairman Frank Holman has already endorsed Vicari’s opponent, Jack Ciattarelli. Ciattarelli, even with Holman’s endorsement may not get the party line in Ocean County after it became known that he voted no on two critical post-Superstorm Sandy relief bills. The first was a bill to allow federal funding to shore towns devastated by the storm and the other was the rejection of a moratorium on home foreclosures for Sandy victims.
Ciattarelli has not yet publicly address those decisions, made when he served as a member of the New Jersey Assembly. In stark contrast, Vicari has been on the front lines fighting for Ocean County since Sandy, fighting for victims rights and relief against the state and federal government. Vicari has also been outspoken against Governor Phil Murphy’s extended business shutdowns and restrictions imposed by the governor during the pandemic.
Vicari, 74, is a retired school teacher and former superintendent of the Central Regional School District.