The filing deadline to compete for the endorsement of the Ocean County Republican organization is just three week away.
Ocean County GOP Chairman Frank Holman announced on Thursday that candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives and for Sheriff and County Commissioner must submit written requests and resumes by January 14. The screening committee will consider candidates on February 10 and the Ocean GOP Convention has been scheduled for March 10.
As a result of congressional redistricting, Ocean County is no longer part of New Jersey’s 3rd district. Now the county rests entirely in the 2nd and 4th districts, with incumbents Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) and Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton) seeking re-election. Van Drew and Smith have announced primary opponents but appear to have a lick on the organization line.
Two veteran county commissioners, John P. Kelly and Virginia Haines, are up this year. So is Sheriff Michael Mastronardy.
Democrats have not won a countywide election in Ocean County since 1989.
Party by-laws require all candidates seeking the organization line at the March convention to first appear before the screening committee.