Toms River GOP Candidate Says Republican Club President DiBiase Pressured Him to Drop Out

Chris Grimes, a Toms River Republican primary candidate, is pushing back against the township’s Republican Club leadership after Republican Club President Robert DiBiase unsuccesfufily tried to convince him to drop out of the race.

“There are clearly two types of Republicans in Toms River, a true Republican or being part of a Republican committee,” Grimes said Wednesday in a statement to OCP.

DiBiase

Grimes, with the Lieutenant Governor

“Robert Dibiase talks about how Justin Lamb isn’t taking this seriously but on the other end of the table Mr. Dibiase and I met for coffee,” Grimes said.

Grimes, along with Justin Lamb is one of two candidates challenging incumbent Councilwoman Maria Maruca in the Ward 1 Republican primary race this year.

He said that the Toms River Republican Club president, Robert DiBiase (who is also a township employee) aggressively pushed him to drop out of the race. DiBiase’s club previously endorsed incumbent Maria Maruca, as they have done in the past.

“There he tried to talk me into dropping out, saying I didn’t have a chance and that Maria Murcia already has over 10,000 supporters who will vote for her. He also said since we aren’t being sponsored by his committee that makes us no longer eligible to be Republicans in this race and we are looked at as independents.”

The race is already proving to be hotly contested, unlike past Republican primaries, with DiBiase previously taking a shot at the other challenger, Justin Lamb, with allegations surrounding his residency. Grimes defended rival Lamb, and claimed that he is “very much” from Toms River.

“So if he [DiBiase] wants to talk about someone not taking this seriously it’s him.”

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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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  • Tommy p

    And is anyone surprised by this?
    That’s why we have the same asshole being re-elected over and over and over…
    BTW this is the way it works for the Dems too, just ask Uncle Bernie.

  • llewellynh

    Write in Chris Grimes if permitted.

    • Christopher J Grimes

      already written in ballot position 1

      • Guest

        You’re like 16 years old. Still can’t grow complete facial. Wait until you’ve kissed a girl (or boy) then give it a go.

        • Its a bity

          So we have a young kid and a non resident voter maybe sometimes from Island Heights. That’s the best the Dems can shill in the primary against Marie?

          • Christopher Grimes

            Im a Republican.

          • Im Trump the 25 mil FRAUD

            Are you wearing your Make America Great Again gear that is made in Chinnnnna?

        • suzie

          The FBI investigates crimes committed against those based on biases, or perceived of sexual orientation, identity, disability or gender. What you have done here is committed a hate crime with your, or boy, comment.

          • Guest

            No, what was done there was not discriminate or make assumptions against ones sexual preference and/or orientation. It is frowned upon in today’s day and age to assume someone has a specific interest of any kind. You can Thank The Obama years for that.

          • Ortley

            Actually it was the opposite of what you are suggesting. Get a grip there Suzie. Geeze Louise. I think the poster was very PC.

        • Christopher Grimes

          Im probably 100 times more mature then the current people in office. Unlike them I see it being about the people Toms River not the money. Fyi im 18 and ready to make a difference.

  • guest

    No surprises here,with the recent ousting of the Toms River R club Chairman, Mr Bellu who is now the Chairman of the Toms River Municipal water company. The current Toms River Republucan President: Mr Dublasi is just picking up where he left off.

  • Christopher J Grimes

    Follow Chris Grimes on Facebook look up Chris J. Grimes
    Instagram gop.chrisjgrimes and Twitter @GOPchrisjgrimes

    FOR THE BETTER OF TOMS RIVER CHRIS GRIMES2017!!!

    • Im Trump the 25 mil fraud

      Chris
      Should Happy Gilmore be in jail?
      Do you support Tommy insurance Macarthur?
      Why not Medicare For ALL?
      Do you think Trump is a con man Fraud?

  • Roger Houston

    when I heard DiBiase crying to the asbury park press about the nerve of anyone challenging Maruca I looked this guy up: a retired Bell telephone manager (the worst) so he’s got a sweet pension or lump of money/stock. President of Toms River GOP, this Benny backs Kelaher and for the past bunch of years has a position in the township, I wonder how he got that, a nice job for a qualified person; for him it’s some extra money. These aren’t my kind of republicans, vote for Justin Lamb & get these fossils out

    • Im Trump the 25 mil FRAUD

      Rog
      Does he answer to Happy the tax cheat Gilmore?

      • Roger Houston

        If you mean DiBiase, absolutely. Don’t kid yourself, NJ dems are corrupt to the bone, too, they run the whole damn state out of Essex, Bergen & Hudson, down in this ridiculous Podunk area you’ve got Norcross

        • Im Trump the 25 mil FRAUD

          Now Rog
          Focus Focus Happy Gilmore is going to jail
          The question remains who is he taking with him
          While there is corruption everywhere the focus here is Ocean County

        • Im Trump the 25 mil FRAUD

          Rog
          Are you wearing your Trump gear that is made in Chinna?
          You knw your Make America Great gear that is not even made in the US. Do you believe Trump the con man fraud?
          Country before Party Rog

    • guest

      Don’t forget Kelahar is a Benny , from one of the most Benny place’s around. Jersey City.

    • band member

      Benny::: I always thought a Benny was a person that came down here on day trips from NY and North Jersey and acted like an idiot. Not someone that has owned a home, worked and lived here for decades and more. Is like over 60 years old and so on. For that matter , 95% of residents would be “Bennys” in this town. I have lived here for about 49 years. My benny years are long gone.

  • charletteirons

    I am very much an independent – truth, honesty, and a true civic minded focus (ie. NOT whats in it for me) mean everything to me. Maria Maruca is a hard working woman that is responsive to her constituents – even those that don’t agree with her. She has a proven history. She has my support.

    • Halley

      I agree, this Lamb guy has only lived in Toms River , so he says since 08. How many times has he voted in Toms River, and how long has he been a registered Republican? Maruca is a long, long time Toms River presence.

      • Guest

        Who cares how many times he’s voted in Toms River? That just means he’s less of a politician than all those GOP robots. Also, just because you’re not a registered republican doesn’t mean you don’t have republican values but can think independently.

        • Secons

          LMAO, who cares? I guess you will see by the many mainland votes that back Marie. You may not care because you are a D plant, however the vast majority of folks look at someones voting record.

          • Guest

            LMAO? You’re an idiot. An outsider coming in may disrupt the “machine” of puppets that run TR. if you want to laugh it should be at TR republican club is nervous they’re going to have an outsider that can be bought or controlled involved in the town. And that my friend is a fact.

          • Ortley

            Typical Democrat plant response. Funny thing is he’s got no chance and you know it so it really does not matter.

          • Im Trump the 25 mil FRAUD

            A Happy Gilmore bobble head that likes to be fleeced by the RepubliCon machine

          • SeasideMaria

            Guess you haven’t checked the numbers. She got the most votes from Beaches north area. Keep parroting grounds keeper Willy.

          • Halley

            That being said, how many votes do they really get from the barrier island as in comparison to the mainland? Marie will get the majority of the mainland voters, how many vote in Ortley and such?

          • Valley South

            Very very few the vast majority of all votes come from the mainland.

          • guest

            Like 200 in total , very few voters in the barrier Island. I think they changed the area Ward 1 encompasses a few years back. Ward 2 has more waterfront area’s now, Miss Maruca’s Ward does not have as much as it did a few years back. Not sure, but I think that is what happened.

          • Im Trump the 25 mil FRAUD

            Do you like being fleeced by Happy Gilmore?

          • Harold

            Check seaside maria’s vote totals from 2013…she only got over 600 votes total out of 4000!!! lol. Her biggest votes were about 100 on the beach, so much for mass appeal hahaha

          • Harold

            Disagree, the primary voters will see through the attacks, you cant vote in 2 places…this isn’t the case and isnt Island Heights situated in the middle of TR…I say vote for new Republican blood..

          • Halley

            Last time I checked Island Heights is NOT Toms River, they have their own town council. Please someone correct me if I am wrong.

          • guest

            Harold are you serious. Island Heights is its own town, Has it’s own Mayor, Council and government. Has nothing to do with Toms River,. So isn’t part’s of Brick, Lakewood, Jackson in the “middle of Toms River”, thanks for letting us know he has no voting record in Toms River.

          • Ortley

            How does your post make any sense? Mr Lamb has never voted in Toms River. You may as well state he votes in Brick, Lacey, Long Beach Island, Weretown, they have nothing to do with Toms River as much as Island Heights does not.

        • Gene

          This Lamb guy registered Republican since 2000, his father knocked out the GOP machine in 04 in Lavallette and is still on council..this corrupt club in TR twisted words and claims he’s not Republican? Give me a break..our whole neighborhood on the mainland is pulling for this guy who has guts to challenge this kingdom.

      • Christopher J Grimes

        Well if you don’t think Lamb lived in T.R. long enough and Maria is a corrupt politician why not elect me? I’m young, a go getter, I like to see progress, I lived in T.R for my entire childhood but moved for a few years then came back to this amazing town to make a true difference.

        • Halley

          I don’t think it’s a matter of how long he has or has not lived in Toms River. I understand this guy never voted in any local Toms River Municipal elections ever. Marie is ok, and will get my vote in the primary and the general election. Do not know you, or anything about you. Hey ,your time may come at some point, just not this year.

          • SeasideMaria

            Dibiase thinks he’s the new GOP puppet master. Keep voting for Maria and keep Gilmore stooges in power.

          • Ortley

            He is there because they wanted the Chairman out. With the past Chairman Mr Bellu living in Seaside, he was getting heat for being the Chairman of TR Rep.club and the Chairman of the Toms River MUA and not living in Toms River.

          • Seasidemaria

            You must be in cahoots with that other wannabe Pres of ortley v&t..another one bowing at the alter of Gilmore. What has Maria done for Ortley? What will you say when 1,000 ft of beach is closed Memorial Day weekend? No leadership at ovt or town council. Time for change!

          • Christopher Grimes

            You do know I made the ballets right?

        • Halley

          Are you guy’s and gal’s going to have a debate?

          • Christopher Grimes

            We are tryng to get something set up hopefully soon.

  • TRWatch

    The buzz around town…if your are standing next to a couple of local politicians, and you hear a buzz, run away, far, far away.

  • Guest

    After doing a cursory search of Mr. Lamb, he has been a GOP voter since 2000, owned a home in the neighboring town of Island Heights and then was a builder of homes throughout Toms River, d/b/a JD Lamb Builders Inc. around 2002-2004. Further, he built his present home on Buermann Avenue in 2008. Appears to me he moved like a lot of people do and he changed his domicile address to the home he built. If the opposition is so afraid and so right of an outsider on this issue, why haven’t they filed a complaint?
    Let’s let the voters decide on June 6th.
    Mr. Lamb is the son of a Republican councilman in Lavallette who ran against the machine in 2004 and won. Look at Lavallette’s taxes and you will want that type of small/responsible government in Toms River!!

    • guest

      Then why does he vote in Island Heights? Island Heights is not Toms River.

  • Silence Dogood

    The incumbent Maruca is nothing more than a Seaside Heights transplant, lost her family business in the late 90’s to tax sale, got on the Gilmore bus and voila 13 years have passed…Oh wait she’s done 2 things, secured a job in 2012 as management at the local DMV which she believes is still in the “private” sector (check out her township bio) and was council president for a short stint…all on a high school degree? must interview well

  • Shrimp Shady

    Democratic candidate John Hobler for Little Egg Harbor also had his residency questioned by the President of the local Democrats, Dave Schlick. After Schlick had endorsed Hobler. Pressuring Hobler to withdraw.
    According to Ocean County Deeds, Hobler has been a resident since 2010. Living at his last residence since 2015.

  • Green Old Island

    So seriously does anyone have the skinny on this guy lamb. Is he Toms River Resident , has he ever voted in Toms River, and if he has what is his voting record , what is the real story. We live in the Silverton section, and no one has ever heard of him.