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The new Ocean County Republican Chairman is accusing George Gilmore of setting up a rival fundraising operation, the Southern Ocean Coalition.
Frank Holman III, who won a May special election for county chairman following Gilmore’s conviction on federal tax related charges, said that “a small group of individuals have begun their own fundraising, which undermines the OCGOP’s united front.”
“Despite my specific request as county chairman not to compete with our county’s fundraising efforts, these individuals, with the full assistance of George Gilmore, have chosen to ignore this quest and have created a PAC known as SOC-R PAC,” Holman said in a letter to some Republican leaders obtained by the New Jersey Globe. “I view this effort as a direct attack on the OCGOP.”
Holman is asking Republicans to skip a September 7 fundraising breakfast set to raise money for the Gilmore-allied PAC.
“The OCGOP was successful because it was united, it spoke with one voice and raised the funds necessary to support our candidates up and down the ballot,” Holman said of the state’s premier Republican county organization. “I am working hard to unite our party.”
The new chairman says he has formed a finance committee to raise enough money to support the county and municipal Republican campaigns.
Gilmore, who is awaiting sentencing, has sought to retain some control of the Ocean County GOP organization he had ruled with an iron fist since 1996.
He backed his finance chairman Frank Sadeghi to succeed him as county chairman. Holman beat Sadeghi by 25 votes.
Two days later, a Superior Court Judge ordered a campaign account controlled by Gilmore to turn over 25% of its cash-on-hand to Mo Hill, who was running off the line for the Republican nomination for mayor of Toms River.
Gilmore was supporting former Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato for mayor. Hill won the primary by 536 votes, 41%-34%.