Toms River Township Councilman Maurice “Mo” Hill, a retired Navy rear admiral and dentist, said he will run for Congress even if party leaders from the district’s three counties – Ocean, Burlington and Camden – are not unified.
“If I got the support of the Ocean County organization, then yes, I would move forward,” Hill said Friday.
Hill has already met with the chairmen in Burlington, Camden and Ocean Counties as has Runyan. While Republicans have said they want to avoid a primary this time around, Hill says if he gets the support of one county party he will run. For his part, Ocean County GOP boss George Gilmore has his own list of potentials:
Gilmore has his own short list of candidates, including state Sen. Christopher Connors (R-Lacey Twp), Toms River Councilman Moe Hill and former State Lottery Commissioner Virginia “Ginny Haines.” Gilmore said there are also a couple other potential candidates who do not want their names floated publicly yet.
“I’m not simply going to say ‘Oh yes, Jon Runyan is our guy.’ There are a lot of good people out there, including Moe Hill, Chris Connors and Ginny Haines. It doesn’t matter how many statements Jon Runyan puts out, it’s going to be the same answer: we have a process and we’re going to go through it.”
We’ll see whether the GOP is able to avoid a competitive primary this time around like they were unable to do in their last shot at the seat.