At last night’s Ocean County Republican Party Convention, members voted to give the 10th District Assembly party line to two candidates disliked by GOP Chairman George Gilmore and opted not to decertify the new Toms River GOP Club, also against the wishes of Gilmore, who wanted the old club reinstated to help him re-cement his former power in the county.
The vote to keep the current Toms River GOP Club in place also demonstrated the growing clout and unity of Orthodox Jewish communities in Ocean County in the wake of an unprecedented show of force in Jackson’s elections this past November.
When Jackson Mayor Mike Reina was coming under a stiff challenge to his reelection bid from Council President Marty Flemming, Orthodox Jewish residents in Jackson coalesced around Reina, hoisting him to victory.
Now, with growing numbers in Toms River, Manchester, and beyond, Orthodox Jewish Republicans are seeing their influence on the party expanding, giving them the opportunity to advance not only the GOP’s standing in the county, but the interests and needs of Orthodox Jews across the county, as well.
“With greater numbers comes greater power, and with greater power must come greater unity,” a Jackson askan told Lakewood Alerts. “We saw the Republican Convention as an opportunity to step up for our brothers in Toms River and advance their interests by declining to decertify their Club.”
Asked for comment about Wednesday’s vote to keep the existing Toms River GOP Club in place, Jackson Republican Club President Mordechai Burnstein – who cast the deciding votes in favor of keeping it in place, said it’s all about keeping Ocean County united.
“I and my colleagues went back and forth over how to vote,” Burnstein told Lakewood Alerts. “Ultimately, we decided that keeping the [Toms River Republican] Club as is was the best option for everyone. And we believe this decision will go a long way to ensuring unity and understanding across all perspectives and political alignments in the county.”
“When all is said and done, Republican unity is critical, and that is what we hope to have achieved in part with this vote, and absolute unity is what we strive to achieve moving forward. It is the only way to ensure that all Ocean County residents will have their voices heard. I look forward to continue working with Chairman Gilmore to further the needs of all who call Ocean County home,” Burnstein added.