Lakewood Deputy Mayor Menashe Miller might seek the Republican nomination for Ocean County Commissioner, setting up a primary fight with the apparent choice of the county party organization, according to a report in Lakewood Alters.
Frank Sadeghi, a developer and GOP fundraiser, was the choice of the Ocean GOP screening committee earlier this week. The incumbent, Joseph Vicari, is retiring after 42 years as a county official.
But Miller, a former mayor and a township committeeman since 2004, is part of the Orthodox Jewish community that has been seeking greater representation in public offices outside of Lakewood.
Lakewood is the largest municipality in Ocean County – and the fifth-largest in the state – but has not had a local county commissioner (formerly known as freeholders) since three-term incumbent George Buchwald lost re-election in Jim Florio’s 1989 landslide.
The move to possibly run Miller in the GOP primary comes at the same time one of the township’s most influential Orthodox leaders, Avi Schnall, considered a bid for State Assembly as a Republican. Schnall has now decided not to run.
If he runs, Miller could provide an alternate line for incumbent Assembly incumbents in danger of being dropped from the organization line if they want to seek re-election anyway.