You can add another name to the list of potential Ocean County Republican congressional candidates: Mario Boemio.
The 30-year-old Army Reserve Lieutenant is a combat engineer who runs a family-owned restaurant in his native Toms River. This week, he submitted his resume to Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore.
Boemio knows that he’s a long shot to get the party's nod. He's never held elected office and hasn’t had much political experience aside from a college internship for Maryland U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett. But he’s convinced that he’s running for the right reason: creating a better safety net for combat veteran army reservists.
“One of my soldiers served 18 months in Iraq, came back unemployed, lost her house, her car. So that was one of the main issues that compelled me to get involved in the race,” said Boemio, who’s been making the rounds at VFW halls and said he has the support of a core group of Fort Dix soldiers from the engineering corps.
Boemio feels strongly enough about his potential candidacy that he might not back off if the party selects someone else. And despite the years of government service put in by some of the other prospective Ocean County candidates, Boemio, who has not yet served in a combat zone, said that his experience training soldiers in how to respond to blasts from improvised explosive devices is just as strong of a leadership qualification.
“Right now since I am an outsider, sure, I would have to consider myself a long shot, but I believe my message is going to be stronger than the man so to speak,” said Boemio.