It is clear that Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore had no idea that the feds were about to arrest Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt (R-Ocean): just yesterday, Gilmore told PolitickerNJ.com that Van Pelt was a potential challenger to U.S. Rep. John Adler (D-Cherry Hill) in 2010. The criminal complaint filed against Van Pelt seems to indicate that a challenge to Adler was something he was considering as recently as last May:
“Later, defendant VAN PELT further told the CW (Cooperating Witness) that he would assist the CW in Waretown, that the CW did not owe VAN PELT anything, and that VAN PELT wanted to see Waretown and the CW do well. In response to the CW indicating that the CW was willing to pay more money to officials, including defendant VAN PELT, for their assistance, defendant VAN PELT indicated to the CW that if VAN PELT ran for a seat in the United States Congress, they would talk.”
PolitickerNJ.com’s annual April Fool’s Day joke suggested that Van Pelt would not seek re-election to a second term in the State Assembly. Apparently it wasn’t a joke.