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Assemblyman Greg McGuckin (R-Toms River)

Gilmore innocent until proven guilty, McGuckin says

Assemblyman says county chair shouldn’t resign, distance self from candidate recruitment

By Nikita Biryukov, February 14 2019 2:49 pm

Assemblyman Greg McGuckin (R-Toms River) doesn’t think Ocean County Republican Chairman George Gilmore should step back from his role or the responsibilities that come with it while facing trial for federal tax evasion charges.

“I think right now he’s innocent until proven guilty,” McGuckin said when asked if he believed Gilmore should resign. “I think this is America and that’s the way it works.”

A federal grand jury indicted Gilmore on tax evasion charges. The indictment alleges Gilmore evaded payments of more than $1 million in taxes. He is charged with filing false tax returns, failing to pay payroll taxes, and making false statements on an application for a bank loan.

Gilmore, who has said he plans to fight the charges, does not intend to resign or otherwise step away from his role as county chairman.

At the same time, Gilmore and his cohorts are responsible for recruiting a running mate for McGuckin.

Assemblyman David Wolfe (R-Brick), who represents the 10th legislative district with McGuckin and State Sen. James Holzapfel (R-Point Pleasant) announced last month that he would not seek reelection to a 15th term in the state’s legislature.

There may be wisdom in having Gilmore distance himself from the process to select a successor, but McGuckin didn’t think any such distancing was warranted.

“He’s the county chairman,” McGuckin said. “He’s entitled to and should be involved in it.”

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