Sources close to Ocean County Republican Chairman George Gilmore say based on the results of their interviews with U.S. Congressional prospects on Saturday, a screening committee plans to recommend the name of Freeholder Director John "Jack" Kelly to the Republican County Committee.
Kelly's name will be entered as the committee's choice to represent Ocean County in the Republican Party primary for the 3rd Congressional District, where U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton is retiring.
If the full committee accepts the recommendation at its convention on Monday evening, that would set up an inter-county GOP showdown between Kelly of Ocean County and defense industry boss Chris Myers of Medford Township in Burlington County.
Myers participated in the screening process on Saturday in Ocean, as did Ocean County residents, Freeholder Joe Vicari, Army Reserve Lieutenant Mario Boemio, and Lavallette Mayor Walter G. LaCicero. Toms River Councilman Maurice Hill did not make it, and was scheduled to go before the screening committee on Monday, the same day of the convention.
But sources say Hill's same-day interview is unlikely to sway the committee from its choice of Kelly, who was sworn in to his fifth three-year freeholder term in January 2005, and is a former 11-year mayor of his hometown of Eagleswood Township.
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"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop- PolitickerNJ.com
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