The 86-year-old Mayor of Toms River, Thomas Kelaher, will not seek re-election to a fourth term, setting up a race for an open seat in New Jersey’s 8th largest municipality, according to a report in The New Jersey Globe.
At least four candidates have expressed interest in running for the soon to be open seat, including councilmen Maurice “Mo” Hill and Daniel Rodrick; former councilman Kevin Geohegan; and former Ocean County prosecutor Joseph Coronoto.
Coronoto is said to be the preferred candidate of Ocean County GOP chairman George Gilmore.
None of the three Republican councilmen whose seats are up this year – Hill, Brian Kubiel and George Wittmann — are seeking re-election, the report noted.
Democrats have not yet picked their candidate for mayor, but speculation centers around Jonathan Petro, an attorney and chairman of the Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce, the Globe reported.
Democrats won three seats on the Toms River Township Council in 2017, when the all-Republican governing body saw their majority reduced to 4-3. The number increased to 5-2 last July when Rodrick, who ousted Geohegan by a wide margin two years ago, switched parties.