TOMS RIVER – Moments after meeting veteran Freeholder Joe Vicari at tonight’s screening committee hosted by the Ocean County GOP, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-16) took a good-natured swing at him from the podium.
Vicari has served as a freeholder for 36 years, the second longest serving countywide official in the state.
“I look forward to running with Joe Vicari,” Ciatarelli said with a grin. “I love that plank – term limits. Joe’s going to champion term limits.”
Some nervous and suppressed laughter gave way to several audible guffaws.
Ciattarelli knows the score here in a county where his rival, Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, has a big leg up.
The powerful chairman, Ocean County GOP Icon George Gilmore, backs her.
InsiderNJ asked Freeholder Jack Kelly about that prior to the speeches.
“I’m supporting Kim,” he said. “She’s been here and done a lot for us.”
Assemblyman Brian Rumpf of Ocean wouldn’t declare his support for a gubernatorial candidate just yet, and noted the presence of his caucus friend, Ciattarelli. But, he said he would “be with the county” in the end.