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Locals, Out-of-Towners Battle For GOP Support For Congress in Ocean County

Report: Ocean GOP to favor former Randolph mayor who says he'll move to the Shore

Steve Lonegan (Patch File Photo)
Steve Lonegan (Patch File Photo)
Reports early this week suggest the race to determine who gets the support of the GOP establishment in Ocean and Burlington counties to run for Rep. Jon Runyan's congressional seat could come down to a battle between hometown candidates and out-of-towners moving to Ocean County.

PolitickerNJ.com reported Monday that the Ocean County Republican organization will likely recommend Tom MacArthur, a former Randolph Township mayor, to be the candidate for the Third Congressional District seat.

The Ocean County GOP organization's convention takes place March 19.

The well-funded MacArthur, who PolitickerNJ reported in January has $1 million in his exploratory committee account, has told news organizations he has split his time between Randolph and Ocean County in recent years and hoped to move to the Shore on a full-time basis.

MacArthur is one of two out-of-town candidates willing to move to Ocean County for the seat. Steve Lonegan, a former U.S. Senate and GOP primary gubernatorial candidate, recently moved to Lavallette in hopes of gaining enough favor with local Republicans to be their candidate. Lonegan received more votes than opponent Cory Booker in Ocean County in a special U.S. Senate election held in October, and has statewide name recognition.

Other candidates include Toms River Councilman Maurice "Mo" Hill and Berkeley Township Councilman Jim Byrnes.

While Ocean County comprises the bulk of the third district, several Burlington County communities are represented as well. The Burlington GOP organization has already placed its support behind MacArthur.

“Not only were we deeply impressed by Tom’s experience of helping to create jobs and prosperity for his employees and their families, but also by his vision for the future of our party and our nation,” said Burlington GOP Screening Committee Chairman Steve Solomon. “Tom’s compelling story as a self-made success and someone who has dedicated his life to giving back to those in need made him stand out among the candidates we interviewed.  We believe he will make an excellent Congressman for the people of Burlington County and the people of the Third District.”

Whoever becomes the GOP's candidate in the race will be an instant favorite to win the seat in Washington. In redistricting based on the 2010 U.S. Census, the third district traded Democrat-heavy Cherry Hill for the larger, Republican-leaning Brick Township, giving Republicans a built-in edge.
1stcav March 05, 2014 at 09:05 AM
OC , GOP stronghold , if they could they would did up the old Sheriff and prop him up at his desk and say every things fine here , Bill's just moving a little slow these days !!! Watch the left hand as they take your money with the right hand..smoke and mirrors...best play GAME in OC..$$$$$$$$$$$$$.
grace March 07, 2014 at 07:45 PM
the sleeve roll is gettin old fellas time for a new look..try one of those hats pharell wears
jasperpointpl March 11, 2014 at 03:53 PM
So according to the Brick Patch not only has the Toms River Rep org broken ranks and endorsed Mo Hill for Congress, the Brick GOP club did the same and endorsed Mo Hill for Congress. So tell me how the two largest towns here in good old Ocean County can endorse a home grown Doctor and Navy Admiral one of Ocean County's own, and the County goes and endorses a guy who's never lived here and was the Mayor Of Randolph NJ? Where the heck is Randolf anyway?
Mac March 11, 2014 at 04:30 PM
to all you Republican Party faithful who blindly push the Republican line button, please keep in mind that even your party leader knows no one under his control is capable of getting the job done when he can't personally walk them 24/7 - not even a consideration or a fake interview process so some can save face - not even a Vicari chuckle - after years of observing Gilmore in action, I've got to believe that if Gilmore is in awe of this Rudolph Township Easter Bunny, then we've hit the bottom of the barrel for sure

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