Thompson Says He Has Fellow Chairmen’s Support For Senate Race

By Art Gallagher

Assemblyman Sam Thompson of Old Bridge told MoreMonmouthMusings that he has the support of his fellow 12th district county chairmen for his bid to run for State Senate.

Thompson, who is also the Middlesex County GOP Chairman said that Ocean Chair George Gilmore, Monmouth Chair Joe Oxley and Burlington Chair Bill Layton each indicated that they would recommend that their respective conventions or screening committees nominate him for Senator.  He is confident that his own convention will award him the nomination.

Thompson said he would ask the Middlesex County Convention to nominate Monmouth County Freeholder Director Rob Clifton for the Assembly seat that Thompson now holds.  Assemblyman Ronald Dancer, Plumsted is also expected to be nominated.

Clifton told MMM that he proudly supports Thompson for Senate, that he looks forward to campaigning with him and Dancer and serving with them in Trenton.

Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas, who has said he will challenge Clifton in the primary, was not immediately available for comment.

Posted: April 5th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: NJ State Legislature | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments »

10 Comments on “Thompson Says He Has Fellow Chairmen’s Support For Senate Race”

  1. Francis Marion said at 7:36 pm on April 5th, 2011:

    This is an embarrassment on so many levels.

  2. Middletowner said at 7:39 pm on April 5th, 2011:

    At least I’m glad he’s out of my district

  3. Anonymous said at 7:51 pm on April 5th, 2011:

    If this is true, Middlesex and Ocean cleaned our clocks.

    Score it:

    Gilmore 3
    Thompson 1
    Oxley 0

    Time for a new chairman.

  4. Oh, stop,who? said at 9:05 pm on April 5th, 2011:

    rather, whom?.. Middlesex is nearly all Dem, so this gives our PARTY a likely M.sex Senate legis. seat for the first time in,like forever, a good thing.. why shouldn’t the pie be cut to share, with a “star”pulling from each county? -what part of “team ” do you not get?..blame the population shift and the Dem MAP, not our one chair, for God’s sake..it’s now our job to hold up our part of the district, in the Nov. election,with the guy we get..

  5. Abe said at 10:35 pm on April 5th, 2011:

    Did anybody hear Christie on 101.5 this morning? He called out Sam Thompson at the end of the inteview for double dipping like Essex County Exec DiVincenzo. Does anybody know how Sam is double dipping and why the Gov called him out with the likes of DiVincenzo and Lorretta Weinberg?

  6. Samiam said at 7:33 am on April 6th, 2011:

    Sam worked for the State for years before retiring in the 90’s and collecting his pension and his assembly paycheck at the same time.

  7. TR said at 8:54 am on April 6th, 2011:

    How else did you expect it to play out and how could Oxely have avoided it. Realistically there was no other way this was going to play out.
    In a primary a Singer ticket would have beat a Kean ticket just based on raw numbers. This way we keep the two assembly seats.
    Similarly in the 12th district Thompson and Singer could have teamed up to cut out Monmouth completely. If you are so smart exactly what cards could Joe have played to get a better outcome? Especially since some powerful republicans in Monmouth County support Thompsons bid.

    On another note this leaves Andrew Lucas out in the cold. There is no way he can win this primary now. His only shot at winning was getting the other counties to support his bid. If He wins in Monmouth, which is quite possible it will not be by a large enough margin to make up for the other counties which he cannot win without the line.

    UNLESS he ran as a tea party candidate. Then he might pull it off. Then the question is; can Andrew pull of a Tea Party candidacy? Not sure that is in his repertoire.

    If I where him I would find a way to bow out gracefully.
    Maybe he has some strategy that I have not figured out. It could be as he is obviously a bright guy. It will be interesting to watch.

  8. From NJ.com: said at 11:52 am on April 6th, 2011:

    In this post, Assemblyman Samuel D. Thompson is identified with a group of elected officials who can “retire” from their jobs, but then continue serving in those same jobs and add a pension onto their elected official’s salary. However, Thompson’s case is unique. His pension is based almost entirely on a 25-year career with the state Department of Health and Turnpike Authority. In 2005, he came out of retirement, entered the public pension system for two months, and then retired again. He says this was to enable him to enroll in the state health benefits program, which he had not been entitled to in his 1997 retirement from the Turnpike Authority.

    TRENTON — Days after the revelation that Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. is simultaneously collecting a pension and a salary for the same job, the state’s political establishment came down hard and fast on one of its own Monday.

    Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle called for an end to the loophole he used to “retire” and keep working the same job. And Gov. Chris Christie, who had been largely silent on DiVincenzo’s “retirement,” pitched in by criticizing his key political ally as flat-out wrong to collect pension before leaving office.

    “I don’t understand how you can retire from the job and stay in the job,” he said. “Only in New Jersey.”

    A Star-Ledger review of Treasury records shows at least four lawmakers are doing pretty much the same thing as DiVincenzo: they “retired” from elected positions and started collecting a pension while continuing to keep their job. It’s legal because state law lets public employees retire while still holding elected office, as long as they previously held a different public job.

    Assemblyman James Holzapfel (R-Ocean) has been reelected four times since he technically “retired” from the Legislature in 2004. His pension is $42,787 a year.

    Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) started collecting her $40,746 annual pension last year. Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Essex) “retired” as Essex County freeholder in June to collect an annual pension of $11,630.

    And Assemblyman Sam Thompson (R-Monmouth) filed his retirement papers in 2005 and collects a $51,504 annual pension.

    “I’m doing the same as millions of people who retire every year, and seek a second career,” Thompson said.

    All four earn $49,000 each as lawmakers and had enough time in public jobs to legally collect their pensions. At least two dozen other lawmakers collect pensions while serving in the Legislature, but they retired from unrelated jobs, such as teaching or policing.

    DiVincenzo, a Democrat, started supplementing his $153,207 salary with a $68,862 annual pension in August.

    “I contributed to the pension system for over 29 years and followed the law when I decided to begin drawing my pension,” he said in a statement Monday. “This was a personal decision that was in the best interests of my family.”

    Christie, responding to criticism from some Democrats and public employee unions that he had gone soft on political allies like DiVincenzo, said he personally called the county executive to express his displeasure.

    “Whether someone is an ally or an enemy, I tell people what I think,” Christie said. He added, “I told him I think it’s wrong. What do you want me to say? I can’t be any clearer than that.”

    Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said Christie-backed bills to change the law have sat untouched in the Democrat-controlled Legislature.

    “You have deeply partisan Democrats leaping at the chance to criticize one of their own moderate voices for taking advantage of a legal loophole they’ve turned a blind eye to for years,” he said. “For them to point at that now, that’s hypocrisy.”

    Oroho’s bill to change the law is currently before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

    Thompson is a scumbag.

  9. Ocean County said at 7:45 pm on April 7th, 2011:

    Andrew Lucas needs to challenge Thompson for the Senate seat. I am not happy with my town pushed into his district. Also, could this district be any more gerrymandered?

  10. TR said at 10:19 pm on April 7th, 2011:

    I’m not a supporter of Thompson or anything but I don’t understand how this hurts the taxpayer.
    So I am a government employee and I retire. I paid my dues to the system so I get a pension. I run for office and get elected I recieve a salary for the job. If I loose somebody else recieves the same salary. Where does this hurt the taxpayer.
    The net cost is the same.
    How does that make somebody bad?