Seven candidates are seeking three open seats on the Toms River Township Council in the June Republican primary.
Republican mayor Thomas Kelaher, 86, is not seeking a third term. Three councilmen – Maurice (Mo) Hill, Brian Kubiel and George Wittmann –are also not running for re-election.
The local GOP organization has endorsed labor leader John Meehan, school board member Ginny Rhine and Christian Momm, a pharmaceutical sales representative who coaches community sports programs. They will run on a line with mayoral candidate Joseph Coronato, a former Ocean County prosecutor.
Coronato faces two challengers for the GOP nomination: Hill, a four-term councilman and retired U.S. Navy rear admiral; and Daniel Rodrick, who was elected to the council in 2017 as a Democrat and switched parties last year.
Rodrick is fielding a full ticket: Ken Londregin, a vice principal in Old Bridge school system; George Lobman, the director of the Utility and Transportation Contractors Association; and Justin Lamb, an attorney who put himself through law school while working midnight shifts as a Lavallette police officer.
“I’m running for mayor to put a stop to over-development and to stabilize taxes. I will not approve the development of Ciba-Geigy and I have a plan to cut $3 Million from our budget in my first 3 months as mayor,” Rodrick said. “I can’t do it alone, so I’ve assemble a slate of true conservatives that will support my agenda.”
Hill is not running with a slate of council candidates.
Heather Barone, a court-appointed special advocate, is also seeking the Republican nomination for council, according to a report by Jersey Shore Online.
Meehan, an area manager for JCP&L, spent 22 years with the Steamfitters Union Local 475 before joining Gov. Chris Christie’s staff as outreach coordinator for the building trades unions.
Rhine was the top vote-getter when she ran for the Toms River Board of Education.
Democrats are running Jonathan Petro, an attorney and chairman of the Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce.
Seeking council seats on the Democratic ticket are: Michele Williams, a school board member and retired elementary school principal; Karin Sage, a partner at the Wilentz law firm; and Drew Boyle, a public school teacher.