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.“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.”