30th District Primary Looking Less Likely

By Art Gallagher

“The Democrats created this district so that Republicans would spend resources fighting each other while they sit back and get ready for the general election and it looks as like that is going to happen.”  So said Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore about the new 30th legislative district in an interview with MMM early yesterday afternoon.

Within hours what had seemed to be a certain primary between Senators Sean Kean and Robert Singer was apparently avoided.  “Sean is talking to Singer,” said Monmouth GOP Chairman Joe Oxley, “There will be no war between the Ocean and Monmouth Republican organizations. Ocean and Monmouth were key counties in delivering a victory to Governor Christie and we will be working together to deliver Republican gains in the legislature.”

Kean later told the Asbury Park Press that he was uncertain about challenging Singer in the primary.  Singer told the APP that should he retire, that Kean would face an Senate candidate from Lakewood.

With both Senators backing off their firm positions to run, it appears that cooler heads will prevail as a slate is chosen with an eye towards victory in November.

The new 12th district will not be such a heavy lift.  “With three counties, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean, each having roughly 1/3 of the population of the district it would seem that each county should have a representative in the legislature,” said Gilmore.  Oxley concurred.

Middlesex County Chairman Sam Thompson, Old Bridge, is an incumbent Assemblyman from the new 12th district.  He has been angling to get the senate nod, touting the fact that he would be the only GOP Senator from Middlesex County and that his senatorial courtesy would give the Christie administration a new bargaining chip in dealing with the Democrats.   GOP sources in the legislature and the administration are divided over the benefit of Thompson having sentatorial courtesy so long as there is a Republican governor.  “The Senate seems to be slipping away from Sam,” said one senior Republican close to the process.

Oxley does not consider Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas’ primary bid in the new 12th to be a serious undertaking.  “I don’t know who is giving Andrew his political advice,” said Oxley, “this is not fun and games, it is serious business.”  Oxley was referring to Lucas’ comment on MMM that a legislative primary against Freeholder Director Rob Clifton would be fun.

If Clifton is awarded “the line” in Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean, a Lucas primary victory would appear to be unlikely even if he runs a competitive race in his Western Monmouth base.

Posted: April 5th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: George Gilmore, Joe Oxley, Legislature, NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments »

23 Comments on “30th District Primary Looking Less Likely”

  1. JustifiedRight said at 8:35 am on April 5th, 2011:

    Howell. This huge town has been the whipping boy of politics for too long.

    Don’t think we are going to sit back and act like putting us back in Monmouth County was a favor. It was owed to us.

    It’s the second largest town in the new 30th. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t have a statewide candidate.

  2. Observer said at 8:45 am on April 5th, 2011:

    I would not consider someone from Matawan valid representation of the Monmouth County character of the 12th district, it does not even border the other Monmouth towns and boroughs in the 12th.

  3. Monmouth Girl said at 9:13 am on April 5th, 2011:

    I disagree Observer about Matawan, but remember Freeholder Director Rob Clifton does not just represent Matawan, he has represented the other 6 Monmouth County towns in the new 12th district for 7 YEARS!

  4. Freespeaker1976 said at 10:08 am on April 5th, 2011:

    I wouldn’t bet either way that there will or will not be a primary between Sean & Singer.

    Why should Monmouth give up 2 Senate seats (going from three to 2) in order that Ocean County have 4 seats now?

    This is all a Gilmore Power Play.

    Justified Right, not sure where you are on Kean, but you folks in Howell would have to swing solidly behind Sean for him to have a chance

  5. Francis Marion said at 10:38 am on April 5th, 2011:

    “Oxley does not consider Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas’ primary bid in the new 12th to be a serious undertaking. “I don’t know who is giving Andrew his political advice,” said Oxley, “this is not fun and games, it is serious business.””

    Yes, having George Gilmour taking Monmouth County to the cleaners is serious business, and Andrew deserves more respect than this clown shows him in this quote.

  6. Justified Right said at 10:47 am on April 5th, 2011:

    Exactly Freedpeaker. If Howell wants to be relevant we need to be up for grabs.

  7. Monmouth Girl said at 10:53 am on April 5th, 2011:

    Hey let’s all step back for a minute with the name calling. This is exactly what the democrats wanted. They wanted to pit friends like Rob and Andrew and Sean and Bob Singer against one another. All these guys campaigned for one another in the past. I know Rob and Andrew went door to door together in Manalapan last year when Andrew was running for re-election to the township committee and Rob was running for re-election to the Freeholder Board.

    This is going to be a painful process for everyone (winners and losers) but we need to come together as a party and not allow the democrats to divide us.

    Francis you are mad at the Chairman’s comments – that is fair and I respect your opinion. I would have preferred we keep family squabbles out of the public too. I would also perfer for us to pick a candidate in both districts and to avoid a destructive primary. That is just my 2 cents.

  8. CommonSense said at 10:56 am on April 5th, 2011:

    Monmouth Girl….Rob Clifton may have “represented” all of Monmouth County for 7 years, but he knows NOTHING about Monmouth County. He is Oxley’s and any chairman’s puppet.

    Oxley doesn’t like Lucas because Lucas has a mind of his own and doesn’t kiss up and fulfill Oxley’s enormous ego. Lucas is probably one of the smartest Mayors in Monmouth County and he would make a more than an outstanding Assemblyman or Senator then Clifton can ever dream of.

  9. Monmouth Girl said at 11:05 am on April 5th, 2011:

    Boy CommonSense you are a little too angry. Sounds like you are are either the Matawan Borough Councilman who is running Andrew’s campaign or a democrat who is trying to stir the pot.

    I on the other hand think Rob and Andrew would both make outstanding legislators and I wish both of them the best of luck. It is a shame we cant have them both.

  10. Charles M said at 11:19 am on April 5th, 2011:

    Hey Oxley, “this is not fun and games, it is serious business.” Where are our bylaws?!?!? FYI its pass July 28th, 2010!!!

  11. Francis Marion said at 11:23 am on April 5th, 2011:


    By-laws don’t make campaign donations.

    This is going to be an ugly year for the Monmouth GOP. Brookdale, Malcom Carton, the APP is gearing up big time.

    Look Out!!

  12. CommonSense said at 12:11 pm on April 5th, 2011:

    @Monmouth Girl I’m not the councilman you are referring to nor am I a democrat. I’m just a gal fed up with this crap and fed up with a chairman who only cares about himself and never shuts up about the victory Monmouth County gave Chris Christie 2 years ago, as if it was because of him we voted for the Gov. Give me a break! Want real change? Vote Joe Oxley OUT as chairman.

  13. Monmouth Girl said at 12:23 pm on April 5th, 2011:

    CommenSense, that is fine but there is no reason to run down Rob Clifton because you dont like the Chairman. I would vote for Rob over Andrew, but I am not going to beat up on Andrew. I think that Andrew is a fine man and a fine Mayor and have met him many times and I very impressed by him. I feel the same way about Rob.

    If you dont like Rob that is fine. If he has made decisions that you object to fine – state them, but just dont beat him up because you dont like Oxley. We need to work together and not tear each other apart. If Andrew becomes the nominee – his sign is on my lawn the next day. I hope you do the same if Rob is the nominee (or someone else) unless of course you truly hate him.

  14. dma said at 12:48 pm on April 5th, 2011:

    I’d be happy w/ any of the afforementioned candidates.

    I am a little appaled by our chairman openly ripping into a GOP candidate. Whats wrong with anyone say6ing they would take a race to the primary. I know I would not want my political fate determined by a few select screening committee people

  15. Huh? said at 12:52 pm on April 5th, 2011:

    I am not clear on what is in the body of the article that suggests the headline? It says both sides are backing off?

    Then is a third person going to run?

  16. brian said at 12:55 pm on April 5th, 2011:

    lt’s folks like Oxley and the “old boy” network that drove me to become an independent.

  17. TR said at 1:23 pm on April 5th, 2011:

    I’ll tell you who Andy gets his advice from.

    Steve McEnery .

    Steve is Andys biggest asset (aside from his own skills. AND his biggest liability.

  18. Thank God said at 1:35 pm on April 5th, 2011:

    this “shuffling” only occurs once every 10 years!.. “the only thing certain is change”, and here we have the next change, and, as usual, in NJ, the Dems prevailed.. we now have to get over it, live with it, nominate candidates in June, who will WIN, and add to the GOP roster in both houses’ headcount,in January!.. please, stop with the pettiness and personal likes/dislikes and blame-game: Sen. Singer was right in the APP: “numbers matter” -period..and, forget talking down either of the county chairs, the numbers are what counts!.. Singer has the numbers, not Sean, now, and, is that not why/how Sean got to be the “old” 11th Senator, in the first place, over the more-experienced Steve Corodemus?.. yes, boys and girls, it was because Wall brought more votes than did Atlantic Highlands, and Steve didn’t want to stay in the assembly… facts are facts..I’d advise Sean to take the half-loaf, and suck it up, since he’s young, and Singer is getting near retirement age.. also,it is no “failure” of Chairman Oxley at all, it is smart to take what we in Monmouth can get, now!.. we had 10 years, roughly, of a solid, mostly-Monmouth delegation, of course we liked that.. but,there is life/Republican voters we need, beyond our county’s borders, and they are now more part of us, so broaden your horizons, people: the idea is to try and “balance” the ticket with familiar names in each part of a district, so ALL have a better chance of beating the Dems in November!…. enough crying and nashing of teeth, move on now, and let’s add seats to this creepy Dem-legislature, state-wide!

  19. Freespeaker1976 said at 2:43 pm on April 5th, 2011:

    Thank God,

    Can you sing Cumbaya a little louder? It’s people like you who want to compromise “for the good of the party” that have caused the Republican Party to falter.

    Singer is old hat and even said he wouldn’t run again last year. NOW he’s running? This is the hand of that other idiot power boss, Gilmore getting greedy and NOT working together for the good of the part.

    It’s a power grab with him now controlling 4 senate seats.

    Singer is old, Kean younger and the face of what we need in this party.

  20. TR said at 3:32 pm on April 5th, 2011:

    Oh come on Freespeaker.
    On a policy level their is no difference between kean and Singer. Who gets the seat matters to the guys in the smoke filled room but to us regular people one empty suit looks just like another.

  21. Freespeaker, said at 4:36 pm on April 5th, 2011:

    I actually feel quite sorry for you- would like to know who has personally harmed you/ made you so negative and unhappy?.. you don’t sound old enough to come off that “jaded”..if you do not understand the art of dealmaking and compromising ( the old “win-win” business seminars?), how can you expect to survive, for any length of time, in politics?.. I personally have held my nose many a time and voted for various RINO’s I personally feel are too liberal in philosophy, but what’s the alternative?.. more Dem/lib wins, and even more regulation and more debt and programs we get to pay for!..again, in reality,none of them “in-charge” ever wants to quit, and only illness, death, (or the voters), get to make them do so.. once more, the whole party, not just one chair, has to decide what combination of candidates and voter bases make for the most LIKELY “R” victories- period..as the “greenies” say, “think globally, act locally,” to get it done..and, it doesn’t hurt that badly to sing a little positive “Kumbaya” for the good of the order, really..sheesh, we “R’s” sure need to get along and hang in together, better!

  22. Freespeaker1976 said at 6:42 pm on April 5th, 2011:


    The difference between Singer and Kean is that Singer is older and will retire much sooner, and relies ONLY on Lakewood to keep in power. While he would not be acceptable in a more conservative state; Kean has been an admirable servant to ALL towns in our present district. He is the face of what the Republican Party needs in N.J, not stale old people like Singer & Sam Thomson.

    As I understand it, and I may be wrong; but the rumor is that Singer doesn’t get around too much.

    Copy Cat Freespeaker,

    Where do you get off with the psycho analyzing? There’s deal making for sure, like what happened when Sean accepted the Assembly bid. But, I abhor power crazy brokers like Gilmore and Oxley.

    What I went on is that Singer apparently said he wasn’t going to run again, or may not run again and maybe if his heart isn’t in it, he shouldn’t run.

    Old enough? I bet you I have more time in the political streets knocking on doors and putting signs up than you could even think possible.

    Don’t be over analyzing things. You might come to assumptions that are way off base.

  23. TR said at 8:23 pm on April 5th, 2011:

    Actually I am a very happy person. Anybody who knows me will tell you.
    That is suprising because I am a realist.

    I am old enough to know that most politicians are at best unexceptional.

    Kean is not a bad guy and Singer probably is not either. However I do not believe either of them are in politics because of a burning desire for public service or because of any strong ideological beliefs. I believe that they like most but not all politicians are in it for more self centered reasons. They are however both superior to Democrats because they are Republicans

    Not seeing much difference between the two it really does not matter to me which one we go with. it does however matter a great deal to the power brokers.