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George Gilmore watched with the rest of them in the arena of Toms River High School North, while
Frank Holman, an accountant and former mayor of Jackson, prevailed in a close convention election tonight in his bid to succeed him as chair of the Ocean County Republican Party.
The final tally was 254 for Holman to 229 for rival candidate Frank Sadeghi.
It was no small event amid Donald Trump divisions on the heels of an embarrassing CD3 loss last year, and then Gilmore’s own meltdown, as the Ocean GOP exchanged a politically connected attorney for a politically connected accountant.
Convicted last month of failing to pay payroll taxes and submitting a false loan application, Gilmore, in the crowd at the special convention to replace him, served as chairman from 1996 until his April 2019 resignation.
For some of his allies among tonight’s 483 voting organization members, he was the only party leader they ever knew.
And tonight, they finally draped the toga of Caesar around someone else’s shoulders.
In this seaside scrap to rule arguably the most important Republican county in the state, Holman beat politically connected engineer Sadgehi.
It nearly didn’t work out for Holman when bombs started flying.
According to The Shore News Network:
“Holman, Frenia & Allison donated tens of thousands of dollars in recent years to Democrats who helped to defeat Republicans across New Jersey, including donations to a political action committee that aided in the defeat of Republican Congressman Tom MacArthur.” Before the election, Holman vowed to retire from his firm, which receives over $6.3 million in patronage work annually.
Sources said Gilmore backed Sadeghi late amid firefighting.
But his candidate failed tonight as Holman barely won.
According to the website of Holman’s firm, the new Ocean County GOP chairman…
“…has more than 35 years of auditing experience serving a variety of clients, including, government authorities, non-profit entities, construction and real estate development. Most recently, Frank has developed competencies in the area of natural gas and energy; he has become a valuable asset to landowners in the Bradford County area.
“Frank’s main areas of expertise include auditing, forensic accounting, mergers and acquisitions, litigation support, as well as income, estate and gift tax planning. Frank received a B.S. in Accounting from Villanova University. He was formerly a partner of Jump, Green, Holman, merged with Kevin Frenia to form Holman & Frenia, P.C. in 1996, and in 2013 formed Holman Frenia Allison, PC.”