TOMS RIVER-A press release issued by the Toms River Republican Club, the political powerbrokers of the community, criticized fellow Republican opponent Justin Lamb, just days after Lamb thanked the town council for holding the line on taxes in 2017.
Lamb, an Ortley Beach resident and Lavallette police officer running against incumbent Maria Maruca in the June 6th Republican primary criticized the township council, calling the all-Republican council out for raising taxes in previous years, but backtracking on a 2017 hike after his open criticism.
The township council, in April submitted a new budget that lowered spending by nearly an additional $1,000,000 after Lamb’s criticism.
The township establishment Republicans grilled Lamb for only criticizing the municipal budget while making no comment on a school board tax hike.
“Lamb pans the zero tax increase by the Republican Kelaher team, fails to criticize the HUGH[sic] tax increase levied by dem controlled BOE,” a statement issued by Toms River Republican Club Chairman Robert DiBiase read. “Members of the Toms River Regular Republican Club are pushing back against political newcomer, Justin Lamb.”
Lamb responded quickly to the attack by the Republican power base.
“This unfounded criticism does not surprise me in the slightest,” Lamb said. “Regardless of what a local club spokesman may opine, I have not slammed a zero percent municipal increase, rather I’ve questioned the township council’s leadership prior to my announcement and the tendency to react hastily to the challenging issues facing Toms River.”
“His candidacy is fundamentally questionable,” DiBiase said. “I see no measure of credibility here, his actions so far seem intentioned only to help Democrats in November.”
Lamb responded to say the township Republicans, including the club chairman, who he noted is also employed by the township, are trying to squash his right to legally challenge them in a Republican primary election this June.
“I find the attack on my eligibility to run for office, a right bestowed upon me through the United States Constitution, completely baseless,” he added. “I’ll continue to focus on the real issues our community faces and not on personal attacks. I will keep driving the agenda going forward and hopefully, the so-called Republican establishment will continue following my lead on addressing these issues.”
Lamb, a Republican is running against incumbent Maria Maruca in the June 6th Republican primary for Toms River Township’s Ward 1 council seat.