Toms River Councilman Dan Rodrick Wins Republican Nomination For Mayor
TOMS RIVER – Toms River Councilman Dan Rodrick won the Republican nomination for mayor on Tuesday night, beating incumbent Mo Hill and Geri Ambrosio in an intense primary that pitted rival GOP factions against each other. Development, particularly Orthodox Jewish growth in towns that neighbor Lakewood, was at the core of this primary contest.
Early Life and Education
Daniel Rodrick won a convincing victory against Mo Hill and fellow Councilmen Geri Ambrosio and Robert Bianchini during the June 4 primary to secure his Republican candidacy for Toms River Township Councilman, setting back Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore’s efforts of lobbying Ambrosio against Hill for that position. This defeat came as an unexpected setback for Gilmore who encouraged Ambrosio against running against Hill as it represented another blow against Ocean County Chairman Gilmore’s efforts of pushing Ambrosio against running against Hill himself – something Ocean County Chairman George Gilmore had encouraged by pushing Ambrosio against running against Hill against Hill – even as Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore had been pushing against running him against Hill at this primary race for office.
Formerly a Democrat but having abandoned it this year, Rodrick is running on a platform of opposing overdevelopment and taxes. Citing an email from the township administrator that shows plans for 6,400 homes on uncontaminated areas of BASF’s Ciba Geigy Superfund site as evidence for his claims of overdevelopment, Rodrick also mentions this plan when campaigning.
Rodrick is a science teacher at Middletown High School as well as an amateur skeet shooter and wreck diver, as well as practicing Soo Bahk Do, an ancient Korean martial art.
Rodrick stunned the GOP establishment when he ran off-the-line against Toms River Mayor Mo Hill in an anti-overdevelopment primary race and won with more than 46%. Hill and his council running mates Geri Ambrosio and Robert Bianchini combined received 28%.
Much of the campaign focused on development issues, particularly Orthodox Jewish settlement in Ocean County towns that border Lakewood (a majority-Orthodox community). Both Hill and Rodrick sent mailers that were later denounced by Agudath Israel as anti-Semitic.
Rodrick’s victory also dealt a blow to warring factions of the Ocean County Republican Party led by George Gilmore and Hill. Additionally, this result means Rodrick will compete against John Furey (a Democrat) for control of his township in November’s general election.
Achievement and Honors
Toms River Councilman Dan Rodrick won an impressive victory in Tuesday’s Republican primary, crushing incumbent Mayor Mo Hill and beating rival Geri Ambrosio with an overwhelming majority vote count. The race focused heavily on overdevelopment – an increasingly contentious issue in Ocean County towns bordering highly Orthodox Jewish Lakewood – while also featuring allegations of antisemitism; both candidates received condemnations from Agudath Israel for sending mailers that criticize “Lakewood-style” development and limit council member comments to five minutes each.
Craig Coleman, Thomas Nivison and Lynn O’Toole – Rodrick’s council running mates – all won their races and dealt a devastating blow to two warring GOP factions represented by Hill and Gilmore. It also dealt an enormous setback to John Furey, the Democratic candidate running against Rodrick in November’s general election.
Dan Rodrick of Toms River’s Republican Primary was announced the winner with nearly 46% of votes cast compared to Mayor Mo Hill (28% combined) and Geri Ambrosio and Robert Bianchini who each garnered approximately 21%, as reported by New Jersey Globe.
Rodrick and Hill’s campaigns were heavily focused on development issues — specifically Orthodox Jewish development in Ocean County towns abutting Lakewood, the majority-Orthodox city. Agudath Israel condemned both campaigns for sending mailers they deemed anti-Semitic.
Formerly a Democrat, Rodrick recently switched parties and created his own GOP ticket after breaking with one of two factions in town. His election to office makes him the clear front-runner to face John Furey – an active volunteer firefighter, EMT, and rescue scuba diver from across the aisle – in November.
Rodrick serves as a science teacher at Middletown Township Public Schools as well as operating his own wreck diving business. An amateur skeet shooter and practising the ancient martial art Soo Bahk Do, Rodrick holds a Master of Administration and Supervision degree.
He enjoys widespread support from those opposed to overdevelopment in Toms River and believes they can alter its establishment together.
Huryk and Turnbach ran as Democrats together before breaking from them to run as Republicans in 2017. He faces an exciting three-way Republican primary for mayor against Hill and former Ocean County prosecutor Joseph Coronato; additionally he has broken away from township’s well-funded GOP clubs and established his own club.