Former Barnegat Mayor John Novak will not fight the recommendation of the Ocean GOP screening committee and has withdrawn as a candidate for State Assembly in the 9th district.
Novak made his announcement at a weekly breakfast of Republican leaders at a Waretown diner this morning, according to an individual in attendance who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The source said Novak dropped his floor challenge at the March 8 convention “for the good of the party.”
The screening committee voted earlier this week to recommend the re-election of Brian Rumpf (R-Little Egg Harbor) and Stafford Mayor Greg Myhre to replace another incumbent, DiAnne Gove (R-Long Beach).
Gove is planning to fight for her seat at the convention.
An early supporter of George Gilmore for Ocean County GOP chairman last July, Novak had entered the race to challenge Rumpf and Gove last year. Rumpf was able to salvage his seat despite endorsing Gilmore’s opponent, Sheriff Michael Mastronardy, but Gove was unable to do the same.
Lacey Mayor Timothy McDonald, Lacey Township Committeeman Mark Dykoff, and Valerie Smith, the head of the Ocean Academy Charter School in Lakewood, are still in the race but were considered less of a threat at the convention than Novak.
Some of the Lacey contingent were at the breakfast at Kristy’s Casual Dining, but there were no announcements from Dykoff or McDonald.