Election 2017: GOP Primary Races to Watch in Brick, Toms River

This year, there are two contested municipal primary races within Ocean County, both on the Republican Side.

Toms River: Three Way Primary Fight in Ward 1

Republican primaries are not usually exciting in Toms River, where the all-Republican council consists of officially endorsed Republican Club candidates. But 2017’s primary race may buck that trend, with the recent shakeup in Republican Club leadership possibly being an indication of things to come.

Incumbent Councilwoman Maria Maruca is facing not one, but two primary challengers in her 2017 bid to keep her seat representing Ward 1 on the township council.

Citing “inaction and a lack of vision” from the current administration, newcomer Justin Lamb is one of two challengers hoping to unseat Maruca in this year’s primary race. “I can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch our community continue to suffer from the current administration’s inaction and lack of vision,” he said in a campaign statement.

Maruca, left Lamb, right

Lamb, a Ward 1 resident, is a Lavallette police officer and recently was successful in an Open Public Records Act lawsuit against the Lavallette fire company in which he sought, among other things, records related to that department’s expenditures at the New Jersey State Fireman’s Association convention in Wildwood. Ocean County Assignment Judge Marlene Lynch Ford ruled that the fire company is an “instrumentality” of the borough and that the municipal clerk was the de facto records custodian.

Chris Grimes, an 18-year-old newcomer to Toms River politics is making his debut on the ballot in the first ward. Earlier this year, Grimes was visible as a participant in a recent pro-Donald Trump rally that was held in Seaside Heights. Grimes spoke at the “MAGA March” event alongside GOP governor candidates Joseph Rullo and Steven Rogers, and was critical of the Obama administration’s positions on gun rights.


Brick: Brando vs. Ebert



With one party rule by Democrats led by Mayor John Ducey’s ticket, Brick Township defies the rest of Ocean County’s trend of single party Republican control. Our sources within Brick have reported that the Democrats have even purged a local Republican doctor from the Brick Historical Society and there has been tensions at the Brick Housing Authority as Democrats continue to consolidate their power (more on that in the near future). With no Republicans in elected positions the situation facing the Brick GOP resembles that facing Democrats elsewhere in Ocean County.

The Brick Republican Club’s officially endorsed mayoral candidate, Domenick Brando is citing Brick’s drug problem as an issue he’d like to tackle if elected.

Brando said “we need to realistically tackle and face up to one of the worst drug epidemics in Ocean County” in a Republican Club statement. Brando will “articulate his agenda in the following months,” according to a Brick GOP press release.

Brando’s primary challenger, Martin Ebert, running under the slogan “Make Brick Great Again” calls himself an “independent Republican” mayoral candidate.

“The current Democrat administration is controlled by by the Newark/Camden party bosses,” Ebert declared in a campaign statement. “They call the shots here in town.”

“Conservative Republicans and President Trump supporters need a voice in this town and I intend to be that voice,” he added.

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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 editor@politicsoc.com or via phone at (848)-667-0840 or on encrypted phone / text app Signal.

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  • guest

    Toms River is in deep Doo Da pertaining to their Ward races IMHO. The blatant dysfunction over the past few years had caught up with them: the recent “shakeup” was long overdue. The family/friends hiring plan within the ranks in town hall, its municipal agencies, divisions have caught up with them.

    • Im Trump the 25 mil fraud

      Is that a bad thing? Because its been like that for years and The Republicons still run TR and most of Ocean County all under the rule of Happy Gilmore
      I find it funny how RepubliCONS hypocrites if you will hire Friends N Family who all have not needed Govt jobs but claim to be for less Govt I know that’s different

  • Pingback: Election 2017: GOP Primary Races to Watch in Brick, Toms River - Toms River Latest News()

  • guest

    Brick was run by the Republican’s a few years back after the Scarpelli incident. Voila! Toms River has game on with at least a few seat’s up for grabs.

    • patent core

      Alright however your post does not make much hay as one has nothing to do with the other.

  • guest

    Why don’t you read the article that is what she said.

    • Andersen

      The poster was being facetious. I think he was mimicking their closed-door political meetings on what to do. Politics 101.

  • Im Trump the 25 mil fraud

    The prostitutes in Washington want to screw you
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