John Costigan. Photo credit: Rhoda Chodosh
Howell Township GOP Municipal Chairman says he will seek the chairmanship of the Monmouth County Republican Organization at the party's statutory reorganization on June 15, 2010. He will be challenging incumbent Chairman Joe Oxley who has said he will seek a second two year term.
Costigan, who has in recent months publicly declared his support for a second Oxley term told MoreMonmouthMusings that his primary motivation for seeking the chairmanship is his concern for who would succeed Oxley in the event that he is appointed Monmouth County Prosecutor by Governor Chris Christie.
Current Monmouth County Prosecutor Luis Valentin's term expires at the end of July. It is widely believed that Christie will replace Valentin, a Corzine appointee, despite that fact that Valentin worked for Christie in the U.S. Attorney's office.
The Monmouth County GOP has yet to adopt by-laws, as required by legislation signed by Governor Corzine in October of last year. At a meeting of municipal chairs last month, Oxley said that the by-laws would be ready for adoption in July. The chairs recommended that succession of the county chair be handled via a new election by the county committee within 45 or 60 days of a vacancy, with the Vice Chair presiding over the party during that interim period. Costigan was present at that meeting.
Oxley said, "I am seeking a full two year term as chairman. We've accomplished a great deal in the last two years. Our organization is in much better shape than it was before my election. We produced historic results last year with an over 65% plurality for Governor Christie and in gaining control of eight municipalities."
Oxley has refused to comment on the prosecutors job, saying "that is a gubernatorial appointment and I will not presume to speculate about who the Governor will appoint." He said that the matter of succession will be determined by the municipal chairs upon the adoption of the by-laws.