TOMS RIVER, NJ – It was a dog and pony show that was pre-determined, but Ocean County GOP Chairman Frank B. Holman and his screening committee once again have endorsed a candidate that might not be very welcomed in the Trump-supporting county of Ocean. In 2020, President Donald J. Trump defeated Joe Biden by a nearly two-to-one margin in the November mail-in ballot election.
Trump had 217,740 votes compared to Biden’s 119,456 votes countywide.
Holman and his screening committee that includes Jackson Township Mayor Michael Reina, pay to play attorney Jerry Dasti, Ocean County Commissioner Jack Kelly, Ocean County Commissioner Ginny Haines, Barbara Lanuto and other handpicked allies of Holman unanimously endorsed Jack Ciattarelli for Governor, to challenge Phil Murphy in November.
Ciattarelli has been under fire in Ocean County for several reasons. Ciattarelli voted against two key economic Superstorm Sandy recovery bills during his tenure as New Jersey Assemblyman in the aftermath of the hurricane that devasted much of the Ocean County coastline and he has openly called President Trump a charlatan unfit to be president.
But there’s good news, candidates were all grilled by Jerry Dasti on their affiliation to Shore News Network.
“What is your affiliation to Shore News Network,” Dasti asked, the ever-so-critically important question to Trump-supporting candidate for Governor Hirsh Singh. Two members present at the interview confirmed the line of questioning.
Now, the committee decision will head to a public nominating convention on March 10th where a floor vote for Singh could once again override the screening committee, which has been essentially powerless and influential to county council members voting at the conventions since Holman took control of the party two years ago.
If left to a floor vote, Ciattarelli is in a strong position to lose, should opposing forces decide to make a statement and play against Holman, Haines, Dasti and pay to play attorney Greg McGuckin at the convention.