Toms River councilman Maurice “Mo” Hill says he will ask the Toms River Republican Club to let members vote on a candidate for mayor after a screening committee picked former Ocean County prosecutor Joseph Coronato by a one-vote margin, 10-9.
“I have every confidence that the Toms River Regular Club membership will support my candidacy for Mayor of Toms River and do the right thing,” said Hill, a four-term councilman and retired U.S. Navy rear admiral.
Five Republicans screened on Saturday for mayor. The incumbent, 86-year-old Republican Thomas Kelaher, is not seeking re-election to a fourth term.
Councilman Dan Rodrick, former councilman Kevin Geohegan, and teacher Virgil Demario also sought party support for mayor.
Coronato had the backing of Ocean County GOP chairman George Gilmore.
“After serving on the Toms River Council I feel I have the knowledge, experience and leadership skills to guide Toms River as the Mayor in the next four years,” Hill said. “We face numerous challenges such as draconian cuts in school aid that would devastate our excellent school system. I will work diligently with our Toms River Board of Education to restore proper funding to our schools.”
Hill is not seeking re-election to the council. He is one of three incumbents stepping down.