TOMS RIVER – The Ocean County Republican Organization announced their slate for November’s regional elections. Incumbents took up most of the spots, but there was a group of candidates seeking to replace retiring Assemblyman David Wolfe on the ballot.
Wolfe, who had been an assemblyman since 1992, announced earlier this year that he would not be running for another term. The 10th District is made up of the following towns: Bay Head, Brick Township, Island Heights, Lakehurst, Lavallette, Manchester, Mantoloking, Point Pleasant Beach, Seaside Heights, and Toms River.
A slew of candidates stepped forward, seeking to have the party’s endorsement. According to a press release from the county Republicans, the following people were interviewed by the screening committee: Mayor Stephen Reid from Point Pleasant Beach, D’Arcy Green of Mantoloking, Councilman Daniel Rodrick from Toms River, and Councilman Jim Davis from Lakehurst. Wolfe was from Brick, and the GOP noted that three candidates came from that town: Ruthanne Scaturro, John Catalano and Samantha DeAlmeida.
“I (am) encouraged to see the rebirth of the Republican Party in Brick,” said GOP Chairman George Gilmore. Currently, there is only one Republican on the governing body, and he used to be a Democrat.
“Ruthanne has answered the call any time the party needed someone to step up and John has been a tireless advocate for candidates up and down the ballot,” he said. “At just 29 years old, Sam represents the future of the Republican party not only in Brick, but throughout the entire state. I have encouraged Sam to continue to build relationships and gain valuable experience at the local level, and I am hopeful that she will consider running for council in Brick.”
Ultimately, the screening committee recommended John Catalano from Brick to be on the ballot in November.
“John will be a tremendous candidate and I am confident that he will make a great member of the Assembly. John has proven himself as a fearless campaigner for candidates throughout the county and I believe that he will continue to use that work ethic to earn the support of the voters,” Gilmore said.
In other races, the committee unanimously chose the following incumbents to run again:
- Freeholder Virginia Haines
- Freeholder Jack Kelly
- Sheriff Michael Mastronardy
- Assemblywoman DiAnne Gove (9th District)
- Assemblyman Brian Rumpf (9th District)
- Assemblyman Greg McGuckin (10th District)
- Assemblyman Ron Dancer (12th District)
- Assemblyman Rob Clifton (12th District)
- Assemblyman Sean Kean (30th District)
- Assemblyman Ned Thomson (30th District)