TOMS RIVER-At last Wednesday’s GOP chairman election held at the former Ritacco Center auditorium in Toms River, newly elected Ocean County GOP chairman Frank Holman declared that his party would be more inclusive and would provide more opportunities for women and younger Republicans. Holman also said he would step back from his company where he earns over $6,000,000 in public contracts annually.
Minutes after the votes were counted, NJ GOP chairwoman Virginia Haines, who stood by Holman’s side through the entire election convened in the hallway with establishment leaders and together, decided Frank Holman would take former Chairman George Gilmore’s vacated seat as chairman of the coveted Ocean County Board of Elections.
In order to do this, Holman and his team would have to engage in political and familial treachery akin to a scene right out of HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones.
Prior to Holman’s appointment to the $20,000 Board of Elections position that night, the appointment was to go to the son of Holman’s campaign staffer, attorney Jerry Dasti’s son Christopher Dasti. The younger Dasti was chosen by the party to succeed Gilmore but was blocked by Freeholder Virginia Haines.
In a quick and decisive move, the Ocean County GOP axed the younger Dasti, with the approval of his father and anointed Holman as his successor. Another contender for the job, Brick Township Republican Ruthanne Scatturo was also left on the gymnasium floor that night as Holman took the job for himself.
Now those, loyal to Holman’s opponent Frank Sadeghi are fearing that the ax will soon come down on them. The Ocean County GOP now remains sharply divided in a near 50-50 deadlock between establishment loyalists and conservatives who want to rid the county of pay-to-play politics, patronage, and nepotism that currently plague the party.