Inside Ocean County Government

Interview: Stafford Candidate Williams Talks GOP Primary Upset, 2018 Race

Stafford Township Council Candidate George Williams, seen here with Congressman Tom MacArthur, both Republicans.

STAFFORD – Republican council candidate George Williams sat down for an interview with Ocean County Politics  Radio on Friday and talked about the 2018 race, and some of his priorities for Stafford Township if elected.

Mr. Williams, who is affiliated with the Stafford Conservatives slate of primary challengers – who have won the Republican nomination for mayor and township council – was interviewed by Ocean County Politics Radio this Friday.

He discussed the 2018 campaign and his team’s recent success in the June primary election against Mayor John Spodofora’s team of incumbents.

The council candidate opined on recent developments in the Stafford Township municipal election, including the team’s recent fundraiser that attracted many of the Ocean County GOP’s political heavyweights.

“We had a Stafford Conservatives fundraiser and we had a lot of big names show up,” Williams said in an interview.

Ocean County GOP heavyweights attended the Stafford Conservatives fundraiser

State Senator Chris Connors, Congressman Tom MacArthur and Freeholder Virginia Haines were among the elected officials that were present at the Tuesday event.

On the numerous attorneys who attended Tuesday’s fundraiser:

“We also had a lot of engineers and attorneys and stuff like that. We also understand that they’re looking for business,” he said of those who attended Tuesday night’s fundraiser.

Town contracts are often quite lucrative for campaign donors, with influential Republican lawyer-politicians like Jerry Dasti and George Gilmore raking in the lions share of public contracts from public bodies across Ocean County that are in their respective spheres of influence. But Williams pushed back at the conventional wisdom that public contracts will be awarded in a spoils system if his team prevails in November.

“We’re not looking to hire them [the professionals] based on the amount of money they’ve donated to our campaign,” Williams declared, offering an explanatory hypothetical scenario where he posited that an attorney who donated less to the campaign would be chosen if they were better qualified to provide legal representation.

“The bottom line was the fundraiser was actually a lot better than we anticipated,” he said of the fundraiser’s outcome.

On Outgoing Mayor Spodofora, and if his difficult relationship with the truth damaged the Republican brand in Stafford:

Mayor Spodofora

“I’m sure John’s a good guy, I don’t know him personally, but he does embellish on a lot of stuff,” he said of the Stafford mayor, who was deposed by the Conservatives in the June primary election.

“You can’t say that you’re some place in the military when you’re not,” he said, noting that the embattled outgoing mayor’s embellishments, which resulted in accusations of “stolen valor,” angered many veterans and members of the military who saw their honor cheapened for political gain.

When asked if Mayor Spodofora’s actions have damaged the Republican brand in Stafford, Williams argued that the mayor’s actions reflected negatively on the old order, rather than the new wave of Republican leadership that is beginning to emerge in the hub of southern Ocean County.

“There’s an old boy’s Republican Club somehow in Stafford Township, and there’s a new wave of Stafford Conservatives,” Williams said, differentiating his team from that of Mayor Spodofora’s and the Stafford Republican Club.

He posited that the mayor’s behavior damaged “the old boys club” of Stafford politics rather the Republican brand as a whole in the southern Ocean County municipality.

“When you start disrespecting people at council meeting – and you know start embellishing on some stuff –  that doesn’t help anyone.”

Williams said Spodofora’s dishonesty on his military service record could be indicative of lies in other unrelated areas.

“When you’re lying about that, what else are you lying about?” he questioned.

On Stafford GOP President Rich Carlson, And If His Actions Show  Hypocrisy:

Stafford Republican Club President Rich Carlson – who threatened to kick out supporters of the Conservatives – surprisingly showed up to the campaign’s fundraiser, albeit briefly.

Williams said that Carlson left shortly after another attendee questioned his presence at the fundraiser.

“Him kicking people out of the Republican Club because 5 or 6 people decided to put our signs on their lawn – that is the stupidest thing I ever heard,” he said.

“So he is really stupid for doing that,” Williams said of Stafford GOP President Carlson, who left shortly after an attendee questioned his presence. “If he [Carlson] was there for 35 – 45 minutes I’d be surprised,” he said.

He said that two people who were kicked out of the Republican Club in Stafford were actually “teary eyed” about Carlson’s move to suppress dissent and they were invited by Williams and other supporters of the conservatives to join their new club.

You can listen to the full audio of our interview with Williams for more details about his plans for Stafford Township and other interview questions using the player and links above, or on the iOS Podcasts app for listening on the go.

Ocean County Politics Radio
Ocean County Politics Radio
Interview: Stafford Candidate Williams Talks GOP Primary Upset, 2018 Race
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