GOP Endorses Recent Little Egg Mayor For County Spot

Barbara “Bobbi Jo” Crea

  OCEAN COUNTY – Little Egg Harbor Committeewoman Barbara “Bobbi Jo” Crea was endorsed by the Ocean County Republican screening committee to run for County Commissioner in November.

  Crea has been on the Little Egg Harbor Township Committee for four terms. She served as mayor in 2019 and 2020.

  She is the Little Egg Harbor Republican Municipal Chairwoman and has served on County Committee since 1996. Crea retired in 1994 as a Senior Executive with the New Jersey Division of Taxation, and is a Certified Public Manager.

  Crea had said she wanted to keep the 5-0 GOP majority on the Ocean County Board of Commissioners and to stand with her colleagues to fight back against Governor Phil Murphy’s “radical, far-left agenda,” just like they have in her town.

  “We run conservative government in Little Egg Harbor and we’re proud of it,” Crea said. She said the township has passed resolutions in 2020 and 2019 to make Little Egg Harbor a ‘sanctuary’ for the 2nd Amendment and legal gun owners, “while also declaring we will never be a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants.”

  Crea said this “was our way of sending a message to Trenton about our conservative values here in Ocean County.” She added that she admires the willingness of the current County Commissioners to weigh in on important state and national issues.

  The candidate said she was also proud of her local record of delivering results and safeguarding the special quality of life in her hometown. Crea also pledged to work hand-in-hand with the county’s small businesses to rebuild and recover from the pandemic lockdown orders, while keeping county residents healthy and safe.

  “We’ve secured more than $1.25 million in grants to hold down taxes, we’ve battled the opioid epidemic, we completed Veterans Park and enhanced Little Treasures Park, started a town wide dredging project, expanded community events for families, children, and seniors, and continue to restore our beaches to make Little Egg Harbor a destination for all residents,” Crea added.

  She is a step-mother of two with six grandchildren and is recently widowed from her husband Richard. “My late husband always encouraged my public service and my family could not be more energized by my decision to run and serve.”

  Crea is also a member of the Ocean County Republican Federation of Women, a parishioner at Saint Theresa’s, a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Post 493, and a Trustee of the Great Bay Regional Volunteer EMS along with other civic and charitable pursuits.

  The committee screened all the candidates recently and selected her to represent them. The way it works is that the committee makes the recommendation and then the Ocean County Republican Convention will convene on March 10 to officially vote.

  The endorsement is significant. Rarely does the county veer from the endorsement. If Crea gets the vote on March 10, she will have the party line on the November ballot. Republicans have generally won county races, with large percentages. The last Democrat to serve as a County Commissioner (then called freeholder) was Paul Brush from 1990-1993.

  And usually there are no open seats on the county’s governing body. In this case, Commissioner Gerry Little announced that he would not run for re-election in 2021.

  This sparked a lot of interest in prominent Republicans, all hoping to reach for that spot.

  • John Bacchione, Berkeley Councilman
  • Lawrence Cuneo, Pine Beach Mayor
  • Peter Curatolo, Lacey Mayor
  • Shawn Denning, Waretown Board of Education
  • Victor Finamore, Brick Housing Advisor
  • Lisa Hodgson-Henson, Surf City Realtor
  • Andrew Kern, Jackson Council President
  • Sharon McKenna, Stafford former Councilwoman
  • Stephen Reid, former Point Pleasant Beach Mayor
  • Michael A. Thulen, Sr., former Brick Councilman
  • Rolf J. Weber, Island Heights Councilman
  • Rory Wells, Manchester, former assistant prosecutor

  “I am impressed by the depth of qualified people we have,” said county GOP Chairman Frank B. Holman. “We know

how to govern in Ocean County. There are a lot of successful government servants on our list.”

  Commissioner Gary Quinn is up for re-election. He was endorsed as well.

  The screening committee also endorsed the incumbents in all the State Senate and Assembly races: Senator Christopher Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove in the 9th Legislative District; Senator James W. Holzapfel, Assemblyman Gregory P. McGuckin, and Assemblyman John Catalano in the 10th Legislative District; Senator Samuel D. Thompson, Assemblyman Ronald S. Dancer, and Assemblyman Robert D. Clifton for the 12th Legislative District; and Senator Robert W. Singer, Assemblyman Sean T. Kean, and Assemblyman Ned Thomson for the 30th Legislative District.

  They endorsed Commissioner Virginia E. “Ginny” Haines as State Committeewoman and former Toms River Mayor Thomas F. Kelaher as State Committeman. Both are incumbents.

  The Screening Committee also endorsed former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli for Governor.

-Bob Vosseller contributed to this story