TOMS RIVER-Frank B. Holman, candidate for Ocean County GOP Chairman vowed this week that he will abandon his $6.3 million annually in municipal, educational, utility and county patronage contracts if he is elected tomorrow. Holman, who owns the politically connected firm, Holman, Frenia & Allison said he will quit his patronage gig cold turkey.
“I am retiring from my business and plan to fully devote my time and efforts to getting Republicans elected up and down the ballot,” Holman said.
Holman has faced criticism by party rank and file for his firm’s $73,000 in donations made to Democrat candidates over the years in New Jersey, including assistance in funding 2018’s Democrat Party “Blue Wave” that saw New Jersey lose all but one congressional seat last November.
While Holman has the support of the “Old Guard”, aka “The Good Old Boy Network”, many Republicans who have been ignored and shunned by the party elites are rallying against the establishment that has endorsed him.
With Holman’s absence from the firm, it’s uncertain if the firm will continue donating to Republican candidates in the future as Holman’s partners were frequent contributors to Democrats statewide. Holman did not say whether Lauren M. Holman or Matthew Holman would remain as partners with the firm in his departure, hinting that Holman’s family influence will remain active long after his “retirement”.
According to party insiders, Holman is working closely with Ocean County Freeholder Virginia Haines and Assemblyman Gregory McGuckin, who have been accused of harassing and intimidating dissenting county committee elected officials.
In 2018, McGuckin’s law firm, Dasti, Murphy & McGuckin also took in huge sums on patronage income. According to New Jersey’s Election Law Enforcement Commission, the firm made $1.5 million in public revenue after the firm contributed political donations to towns which the firm serves as legal counsel. McGuckin and his partner Jerry Dasti are eyeing the $2.3 million in public contracts awarded to former Chairman George Gilmore, which would increase that firm’s take to over $3.8 million in public contracts annually if Holman wins the election.
“To say that this election is about anything more than a money grab by the forces of Holman, Dasti and McGuckin would be disingenuous,” said one influential party committee member who wished to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution for speaking out against the establishment. “Holman said he will retire from his very lucrative business to work full-time as chairman, which earns no income and really isn’t even a full-time job, but we all see what’s going on here…Nobody walks cleanly away from $6.3 million per year, but he has Dasti and McGuckin working full time in his shadow. We all see exactly what is happening. It’s a hostile takeover by party elite who want more money, more power, and more control…it has nothing to do with being a Republican.”
In Ocean County alone, indirect control of hundreds of millions of dollars of public funds could be on the table for Holman.
“We could see corruption in Ocean County that could make Michael Ritacco look like a common shoplifter if these people get elected,” the committee member added. “Ocean County Republicans have the chance on Wednesday to turn the page on an ugly chapter in our otherwise very successful history.”