Sheriff Michael Mastronardy heads into a July 7 election for Ocean County GOP Chairman with 55-vote advantage among Toms River Republican county committee seats over rival George Gilmore.
Allies of Mastronardy, a former Tom River police chief, won 88 seats in the June primary election, while Gilmore supporters captured 33.
Gilmore is seeking a return to the post he held from 1996 until his resignation in 2019 following a criminal conviction on federal tax related charges.
Toms River used to be the Gilmore Country, and the township’s county committee votes largely went to Gilmore’s handpicked successor, Frank Sadeghi, in a 2019 special election. Frank B. Holman III won that election by 25 votes, 254 to 229.
Gilmore lost control of the Toms River Republican Club, which had the largest block of votes at party conventions – known locally as the County Council – that awarded the organization line. In 2021, Ocean Republicans voted 124 to 91 to certify a new club that is loyal to Holman.