Ocean County Republicans have made their selection for who will be replacing Freeholder John Bartlett (who is retiring after 39-years on the board) on the 2018 election ballot alongside current Freeholder Director Gerry Little.

Lacey Committeeman Gary Quinn, was approved at the Days Inn on Route 37 in Toms River Wednesday night, according to Jersey Shore Online.

There were ten candidates considered and then vetted on Tuesday before a decision was made last night by the Republican Screening Committee.

Jackson Councilman Rob Nixon, attorney Sean Gertner, Plumsted Mayor Jack Trotta, Pine Beach Mayor Lawrence Cuneo, South Toms River Mayor Oscar L. Cradle, Barnegat Councilman John Novak, Toms River's Gus Kakavas, Berkeley Council President Jim Byrnes and Stafford Councilwoman Sharon McKenna were all considered.

"I was on the screening committee and it was a very difficult decision," Freeholder Ginny Haines said. "Gary is going to be a team player and work with all the rest of us on the board…We always want to do what's best for Ocean County."

Berkeley Island County Park Groundbreaking ceremony in December of 2016. (L-R: Freeholder Virginia 'Ginny' Haines, Berkeley Township Mayor Carmen Amato, Berkeley Councilwoman Judy Noonan, Freeholder John Bartlett, Ocean County Parks and Rec Director Michael Mangum, OC Surrogate Jeff Moran, and Berkeley Township Councilman Jim Byrnes. (Vin Ebenau, Townsquare Media)

"John is not just the longest serving freeholder in New Jersey, but the longest serving friend," Freeholder Director Little said.

If elected into the office come November, Quinn will have to replace a Freeholder whose seen Ocean County develop to what it's become over the past four-decades.

"John has been a tremendous, tremendous freeholder. He's had such an impact on anything and everything that's happened in this county the last 39 years," Quinn said. "They are very large shoes to fill. I promise I will do my best to continue John's work."

Freeholder Bartlett is retiring due to rising health concerns, mainly his colorectal cancer that's begun to spread to other organs, he announced at a recent board meeting, according to the Asbury Park Press.

In addition to being the liaison to Ocean County Parks and Recreation Bartlett has been the architect of the County budget for his nearly 40-years on the Board.

He has made an effort to spend the money wisely on County related projects and matters and not engage in wasteful spending.

"Just because you put the money in the budget, it doesn't mean you have to spend it," Bartlett told WOBM News in January of 2018.

Under his budget watch Ocean County was recognized as having the third lowest tax burden in the entire state of New Jersey and its 21-counties.

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