Commissioner Joe Vicari, of Toms River – otherwise known as New Jersey’s longest serving elected official – is running for Governor, according to the Shore News Network.
“Since 1981, the electorate of Ocean County have consistently re-elected Vicari who served as a member of the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders until it was changed this year to the Ocean County Board of Commissioners. He is now serving his 14th term on the board. Vicari, a Republican is hoping to get the chance to run against New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.”
For more on the back story, see the InsiderNJ here.
Or see below:
Friendly jabs apparently have a way of piling up, or so Commissioner Joe Vicari’s decision to screen for the office of governor with the Ocean County GOP Committee on Feb. 6th would seem to indicate.
Vicari and Republican nominee favorite Jack Ciattarelli pushed and shoved in the same room four years ago, and now Vicari appears unwilling to let it go.
So the longtime officeholder’s screening for the office of governor (unless there is a more insidious establishment effort to block Ciattarelli’s lane, in order to recruit a more financially muscular replacement for Doug Steinhardt).
By all appearances, Vicari wants to pursue the job.
From the bad blood archives:
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.