Former Ocean County Prosecutor Thomas Kelaher will replace Gregory P. McGuckin as the Republican candidate in the Toms River Mayoral race.
The Toms River Municipal Committee met tonight and elected Kelaher to fill the ballot spot left vacant by McGuckin, who formally dropped out of the race earlier today.
Kelaher, 75, served for five years as Ocean County Prosecutor before retiring in June.
“He’s very well known, well-liked and well-respected, so I think he’ll make a great mayor,” said Republican National Committeewoman Virginia Haines, who was present at the meeting.
Kelaher will face Democrat Richard Strada and independent Carmine Inteso, Jr. in November’s general election.
Prior to Kelaher’s selection, Inteso, a Republican Toms River Councilman who entered the race as an independent and fought Republican challenges to keep his name on the ballot, issued a statement saying that it did not matter who the Republicans chose to replace McGuckin.
"The people pulling the strings won't change. They will still be working behind the scenes to betray the taxpayers and reward their friends,” said Inteso.