Despite resigning from his public and party positions, former Ocean County Republican Chairman George Gilmore is actively participating in the Toms River Republican primary and in the special election campaign to elect his replacement, according to several GOP sources.
Frank Sadeghi, a candidate for the Ocean GOP Chairmanship in the May 15 special election, told a gathering of Republican men enjoying cigars and cocktails at Shogun Legacy on April 23 that he speaks to Gilmore 20 times per day and “George Gilmore wants me to do this,” according to two people who were in the room of municipal elected officials, mayors and councilmen, and municipal party leaders, as well as Joe Coronato, the former Ocean County Prosecutor who is running for Mayor of Toms River.
Gilmore is attending Coronato’s campaign meetings, including a meeting at Sadeghi’s Island Heights office last week, which was also attended by a prominent GOP campaign consultant, according to multiple sources.
Gilmore was found guilty by a federal jury of two counts of failing to submit payroll taxes withheld from his employees’ salaries and of submitting a false bank application, on April 17. His attorney, Kevin Marino , announced after the verdict that Gilmore had no intention of resigning as chairman.
A week later, under pressure from the NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, Gilmore resigned as Chairman of the Ocean County Board of Elections on April 23. On April 24 he resigned as GOP Chairman. His sentencing is scheduled for July 23.
According to Frank Holman, also a candidate for Ocean GOP Chairman, Gilmore has retained control of the Chairman’s PAC and is refusing to turn it over to Acting Chair Barbara Lanuto . Holman said he has urged Gilmore to turn control of the PAC over to Lanuto. “I don’t have to and I am not going to,” Holman reported Gilmore saying, “I’ll use the money as I see fit.”
“The PAC should be turned over to Lantuo, the Acting Chair,” Holman said. “It’s not right, in my opinion, that Gilmore is raising that money in the name of the Ocean GOP Chair and retaining control of it.”
The account has $1430.57 as of March 31, according to an April 10 filing with the NJ Election Law Enforcement Commission. However, Holman said that Gilmore is raising money for the PAC as part of the Ocean County Chairman’s Gala which is being held on May 9th at the Eagle Ridge Golf Club in Lakewood.
MMM reached Sadeghi this morning. He declined to answer questions at the time but promised to call back. He hasn’t.
Gilmore has not responded to a request for comment delivered via text message at 2:40 this afternoon.
Disclosure: Gallco Media, the owner of this website, is providing campaign consulting services to the Toms River We the People Team of Maurice “Mo” Hill for Mayor and Josh Kopp, Matthew Lotano and Kevin Geoghegan for Toms River Council.