Home>Campaigns>Mastronardy officially launches bid for Ocean GOP chair

Ocean County Sheriff Michael Mastronardy. (Photo: Ocean County Sheriff's Office).

Mastronardy officially launches bid for Ocean GOP chair

Incumbent chair Frank Holman won’t seek another term

By Joey Fox, May 06 2022 3:47 pm

Ocean County Sheriff Michael Mastronardy formally entered the race for chair of the Ocean County Republican Party today, setting up a potential showdown in June against former county chairman George Gilmore.

“It has never been more important for us to have a strong Republican Party,” Mastronardy said in his announcement speech. “If we are going to fight back, win, and keep the country we love, we need to be united. We need to fight together – all of us. That is why we must unite here in Ocean County and why I am running for Ocean County Republican Chairman.”

The New Jersey Globe reported in January that current GOP chair Frank Holman, who has led the party since 2019, would not seek re-election. Holman endorsed Mastronardy as his successor, so the announcement today does not come as a surprise.

“Together, we are going to make this party stronger than it has ever been before – by coming together and fighting like hell to get our state and our country back,” Mastronardy said.

A former chief of the Toms River Police Department, Mastronardy was first elected to the county sheriff’s office in 2013 and is seeking a fourth term this year.

Gilmore, Mastronardy’s likely opponent, was Holman’s predecessor as chairman, serving until he was convicted on tax charges in 2019. Gilmore got a pardon from then-President Donald Trump before he served any jail time and has since become a thorn in the side of the Ocean County Republican establishment, backing challengers to local Republican incumbents and fundraising for a rival Republican organization.

Ocean County is the most Republican county in the state, regularly giving statewide Republican candidates huge margins and sending all-Republican delegations to the state legislature. In last year’s gubernatorial election, Republican Jack Ciattarelli carried Ocean County by a whopping 34 points, winning 145,756 votes to Gov. Phil Murphy’s 68,615.

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