Kelly & Haines Sworn in, Vicari Selected to Lead Board as Freeholders Reorganize

TOMS RIVER – The Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders reorganized for 2017 on Wednesday, with Freeholders Jack Kelly & Ginny Haines being sworn in for another term on the all-Republican board and Freeholder Joe Vicari chosen as the board’s director.

The meeting drew a public appearance from Ocean County Republican Chairman George Gilmore, who appeared in his capacity as chairman of the Board of County Canvassers to present the election results along with Ocean County Clerk Scott Colabella.

The freeholders (Photo by Gavin Rozzi)

“I think Ocean County is very fortunate in that we have the finest elected officials in the state of new Jersey,” Gilmore said after he and Colabella presented Kelly and Haines with their official certificates of election.

If there was any doubt as to who Gilmore is backing in the 2017 Republican gubernatorial primary, let there be none. The chairman sat next to Guadagno throughout the meeting, and Guadagno has been making several appearances around Ocean County in recent times, such as the Jackson reorganization meeting held earlier this week.

Gilmore and Colabella present the certificates

“Today I have to say it is truly an honor to be sworn to  my 9th term as a member of the board of chosen freeholders,” Freeholder Kelly said after taking the oath of office.

Freeholder Kelly thanked Lakewood’s Rabbi Yisroel Schenkolewksi and former Ocean County Republican Chairman Joe Buckelew, who were both in attendance Tuesday. Kelly also thanked his secretary, Deb Connors, wife of State Senator Chris Connors, for her support during his tenure on the board.

Freeholder Virginia “Ginny” Haines thanked her family, among others, for attending Tuesday’s meeting.  Haines also praised her running mate, Freeholder Kelly.

“This is a gentleman who has taught me a lot,” she said. “He is a man who stands very tall and stands very quietly, but you learn a lot from Jack.”

Freeholder Joe Vicari was chosen to serve as the director of the board, while Gerry Little will be the deputy director for the coming year.

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Gavin Rozzi

Gavin Rozzi

Gavin Rozzi is the editor of Ocean County Politics and a lifelong Ocean County resident, residing in Lacey Township. Gavin's work centers on the intersection of money and politics in Ocean County, with a focus on public corruption. He can be reached via email at or via phone at (848)-667-0840 or on encrypted phone / text app Signal.

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