The Ocean County GOP/Republican Organization has announced that they are in the process right now of screening candidates for the upcoming 2021 Primary Election.

Once the process is complete, the Ocean County Screening Committee will issue their recommendations "for the endorsement of a slate of candidates for the Primary Election Ballot."

They will then vote on the candidates at the County Convention in March.

There are several local elections this year you'll need to get out and vote for this spring and again in the fall.

The biggest race is for Governor with Phil Murphy running for re-election on the Democratic side of the ballot and a number of candidates who've thrown their hat in the ring ahead of the primaries and endorsements, including former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli.

Ocean County Commissioner Joe Vicari, Hirsh Singh who lost to Rik Mehta in the GOP primaries in 2020 in the race for U.S. Senate against Democrat Cory Booker (who won the Primary Election), former Freeholder-Somerset Freeholder Brian Levine and Joey Rullo.

There are a few local representative races as well this year including for State Senate, State Assembly, State Committeewoman, State Committeeman and County Commissioner, where there are 2 seats in Ocean County including the ReElection bid of Gary Quinn and a vacant seat as Commissioner Gerry Little is not seeking another term.

Those running for Senate seats on the GOP side are all Incumbents...Senator Chris Connors – 9th District, Senator Jim Holzapfel – 10th District, Senator Sam Thompson – 12th District and Senator Robert Singer – 30th District.

Those running for State Assembly seats are all Incumbents as well....Assemblyman Brian Rump – 9th District, Assemblywoman Dianne Gove – 9th District, Assemblyman Greg McGuckin – 10th District Assemblyman, John Catalano – 10th District Assemblyman, Ron Dancer -12th District Assemblyman, Rob Clifton - 12th District Assemblyman, Sean Kean – 30th District Assemblyman and Ned Thomson – 30th District.

Ocean County Commissioner Virginia 'Ginny' Haines is running for State Committeewoman and former Toms River Mayor Thomas 'Tom' Kelaher is running for State Committeeman.

Ocean County Commissioner Gary Quinn, who is seeking re-election to that spot, will be paired up on the ballot this fall with another GOP candidate to replace the retiring Gerry Little on the Board.

There are 13 possibilities as of right now.

Here are the candidates throwing their hat in the ring on the GOP side for County Commissioner.

Berkeley Township Councilman John Bacchione, Little Egg Harbor Committeewoman Bobbie Jo Crea, Pine Beach Mayor Lawrence Cuneo, Lacey Township Mayor Peter Curatolo, Ocean Township/Waretown's Shawn Denning, Victor Finamore of Brick Township, Lisa Hodgson-Henson of Surf City, Jackson Township Council President Andrew Kern, Sharon McKenna of Stafford, Former Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Stephen Reid, Michael A. Thulen, Sr. of Brick Township, Island Heights Council Member Rolf J. Weber and Rory Wells of Manchester Township.

You can follow Vin Ebenau on Twitter and Instagram and email news tips to vin.ebenau@townsquaremedia.com.

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