A former top aide to Gov. Chris Christie is emerging as a leading contender to become the Republican candidate for an open seat on the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders, three sources told the New Jersey Globe today.
Nick DiRocco, a Wall township committeeman, served as Christie’s deputy chief of staff from 2015 to 2016 before leaving to become director of government affairs at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield.
The announcement today that freeholder Gerald Scharfenberger will seek the open 13th district State Assembly seat creates an opening on the GOP freeholder slate.
Scharfenberger became a freeholder in February 2018, replacing Serena DiMaso, who was elected to the Assembly. He won a November election for the one-year unexpired term.
Freeholder Tom Arnone is expected to seek re-election this year.
DiRocco has been around the state political scene for nearly eighteen years. He served as a deputy state attorney general before taking on government affairs posts for the New Jersey Association of Counties and the New Jersey Business & Industry Association.
He joined the Christie administration in 2010 as a senior counsel to the governor, leaving for six months in 2013 to serve as counsel to interim U.S. Senator Jeff Chiesa.
Since 2016, DiRocco joined Horizon and was on the opposite side of Christie during the government shutdown in 2017. He is not mentioned in Christie’s new book.
DiRocco won an open seat on the Wall Township Committee in 2016, defeating his Democratic opponents by a 2-1 margin. He is up for re-election this year.
MoreMonmouthMusings reported today that Monmouth GOP chairman Shaun Golden will announce Arnone’s running mate next Friday.