GOP establishment’s favorite donates $25,000 as officials screen CD 3 candidates
By Matthew Arco | March 13th, 2014 - 5:11pm
| More

As the Republican Party establishment’s favorite to replace U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan (R-3) in Congress was making plans to relocate to the district, the CD 3 hopeful was also opening up his checkbook to the county GOP.

Former Randolph Township Mayor Tom MacArthur donated more than $25,000 to the Ocean County Republican Committee in December, according to records. He made the donation a short time after announcing he was mulling a bid to replace Runyan, who declared only a month earlier his plans not to seek another term in Congress.

The donation came as officials in both counties were beginning to screen as many as 17 candidates who were vying to replace the outgoing congressman.

MacArthur, a wealthy businessman who has been criticized by a handful of local Republicans for being one of two CD 3 hopefuls who relocated to the district ahead of the upcoming election, wrote two checks to the county’s GOP committee in December totaling $25,300, according to an Election Law Enforcement Commission report for the Ocean County GOP organization.

MacArthur was the only CD 3 hopeful to cut a large check to either county GOP organization, according to party officials.

However, county Republicans say the donation had zero influence on their decision to recommend MacArthur to replace Runyan.

“A candidate is getting selected and recommended on a basis of who the candidate is, how he does on the issues and his ability to raise money for his race,” said George Gilmore, chairman of the Ocean County GOP, adding a candidate’s contributions to the county organization doesn’t top his list of concerns.

“What I care about is whether I have a candidate who has the ability to raise money,” he said.

MacArthur donated the funds during a December Ocean County GOP fundraiser. Tickets for the event were $300 apiece.

Other CD 3 hopefuls, including former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan and Toms River Councilman Maurice “Mo” Hill, also purchased tickets for the event. Hill, in effect, donated $300 and Lonegan donated $600 (both hopefuls also donated the same amounts during a similar fundraiser last month).

“Tom is supporting the Ocean County Republican Committee because he is living in Ocean County and wants support the party and candidates up and down the ballot,” MacArthur campaign spokesman Chris Russell said. “He donates a tremendous amount to charity and other Republican causes. He just wants to be supportive and help.”

The third congressional district is comprised of Ocean and Burlington counties.

Bill Layton, chairman of the Burlington County GOP, said MacArthur had not donated to the county and referred any suggestion of the large donation as attempt to buy good will among county officials ahead of screening process as “disingenuous.”

“Every single one of the candidates pledged to support the local organization,” said Layton, referring to the more than dozen CD 3 hopefuls screened by committees in both counties.

“They all pledged to our screening committee,” he said. “It’s been going on forever.”

Layton noted that even the outgoing congressman donated $10,000 to the Burlington County GOP in December.

Both counties are expected to officially endorse MacArthur for Congress within the week.

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 29th

Belmar mayor's race: a wave of post-Sandy project politics stirs up seaside Monmouth borough BELMAR - When Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty rolled out his re-election campaign in February, he did so still basking in the glow of what many residents of the 6,000-person Monmouth County seaside borough saw...

Op-Ed

White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >

Contributors

My Republican Hillary Clinton Experience    There is a veritable plethora of reportage in print, internet, television and radio media speculating as to whether Hillary Clinton will seek the Democratic... more »
(8-27-14) All Americans Should Support Gov. Perry - Political prosecutions have no place in American life. Those who use the justice system as they are using it in Texas... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi

- The Daily Beast

Poll

Who is a better field general for his party as both try to win governor's races around the country?:

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources