Ocean County Commissioner Joseph Vicari has ended his bid for the Republican nomination for governor just one week after he launched a favorite-son campaign.
“My reasons for entering the governor’s race was based entirely on helping our local residents. Ocean County’s political support is critical to any Republican candidate running for governor,” Vicari said. “By entering the race, I wanted to draw attention to the special needs and concerns of our citizens.”
Vicari, who has served in county government since his first election as a freeholder in 1981, filed his letter of intent to seek the support of the Ocean County GOP last week, said he would support the candidate who wins the organization’s screening committee on February 6.
“Too often in the past I have seen candidates for statewide office come to Ocean County ‘for the votes.’ I want to make it clear to anyone seeking our county’s support, that our ‘votes’ come from our people,” he said. “People with real and critical concerns. Senior citizens, veterans and young families that need help from Trenton. I hope my brief endeavor into state politics has focused attention on our needs here in Ocean County.”
Vicari’s hometown Republican Club in Toms River, where he served as a township committeeman from 16 years beginning in 1978, endorsed his campaign for governor.
“My success in more than 40 years of public service has been based in part on the tone and theme of my campaigns, which have always centered on facts and issues and never on personal attacks, unlike so many of the political contests we see today,” stated Vicari. “Had I chosen to continue my quest for the governor’s office, I can assure everyone that this campaign would have taken the high road. As a life-long educator, I hope this can be a lesson to everyone, from either party, who decides to seek public office.