TOMS RIVER-Toms River Mayor Maurice Hill, who ran as a Republican for mayor in 2019 is still not a member of his town’s Republican club. Last week, Hill and his allies tried to storm the club and take it over. That coup attempt failed and Mo Hill is still not a member of the local Republican club.
Hill sought to oust the entire executive board along with his close ally, Gregory P. McGuckin, with the full support of Ocean County Chairman Frank B. Holman, III. Their incursion fell shortly after getting past the barbed wire and were forced into a retreat. McGuckin demanded Club President, Mrs. Geri Ambrosio step down, or else. That “or else” turned out to be a demotion in Toms River Town Hall of her husband Craig, formerly a department head in charge of parks in the township.
While rumors were swirling about Robert Shea, Jr. being installed as the head of the club after the coup, it was learned that former Councilman Al Manforti, Jr. would sit in the throne, not Shea.
It would have been the second time this year Shea would be backdoored by his own Republican party. In January, after being promised by Jackson Mayor Michael Reina that he would be appointed as the planning board attorney there to replace McGuckin who got the bump up to the executive office by Reina. Instead, on the evening of the planning board meeting, Shea attended, dressed to the nines with his family and friends as he watched Reina’s board instead appoint Reina ally Sean Gertner to the post.
It was all part of giving everyone a piece of Jackson’s financial pie to make amends in a party that is currently filled with infighting over political appointments and endorsements.
Now, Mo Hill is left to plan his next move against the Republican party in Toms River. Although he’s the sitting Republican mayor in the township, he has no affiliation with the local club. Insiders say a second assault will come in the form of Hill creating his own Republican Club to compete against the club currently recognized by the party.
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For now, Republicans in Toms River have repelled Hill’s assault on their party.