Ocean County Commissioner Joe Vicari announced that he is entering the race for the GOP nomination for New Jersey Governor and that he would not compete outside of Ocean County for party support, according to a report at NewJerseyGlobe.
“As of right now, I just want to focus on Ocean County issues as the favorite son of Ocean County,” he said. “I want to make sure that the Jersey Shore is represented.
“I will be screened. I will bring forth issues of Ocean County,” Vicari said. “I want to use that as leverage for issues related to Ocean County.”
Vicari’s candidacy makes perfect sense in The World According to Gilmore, the fantastical world of Ocean County Republicanism.
Former Ocean GOP Chairman George Gilmore has been fighting to retain control of his fiefdom since his 2019 convictions for failing to submit his employees taxes to the IRS and lying on a loan application to Oceanfirst Bank. Gilmore intended to remain Chairman until NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal persuaded him that is was not in his best interest to do so. Gilmore has been shamelessly undermining his duly elected successor, Frank B. Holman III since Holman took office.
Doug Steinhardt’s withdrawal from the gubernatorial race was a big setback for Gilmore. Vicari is Steinhardt’s replacement for Gilmore who, if he can recruit enough candidates, will likely create his own “line” in the Ocean County primary with Vicari in the top spot of the bracket.
Expect Geri Ambrosio, President of the Toms River Republican Club and a strong Gilmore ally, to appear in the Gilmore/Vicari primary bracket as a candidate for either Assembly in LD 10 or County Commissioner. Toms River Councilman Dan Rodrick is also likely to run, either for reelection in Toms River or for Assembly in LD 10 on Gilmore’s team. Berkely Township Councilman John Bacchione is a likely Commissioner candidate on the Gilmore team.