The worst kept secret in Monmouth County politics became news today when Politickernj reported that “Monmouth County GOP Chairman Joe Oxley is poised to leave his chairmanship for a superior court judgeship.”
Politickernj’s story is premature.
“If it happens, it won’t be during this legislative session,” said State Senator Joe Kyrillos, “Joe is an excellent chairman. Monmouth County is important to the party statewide going into 2012 and 2013.”
State Senator Jennifer Beck said she’d heard rumblings about an Oxley judicial nomination but assumed it was a rumor. “Joe has never mentioned an interest in being a judge,” said Beck, “there are three Republican and one Democratic vacancy on the Monmouth Court now. The workload is significant. About 60 lawyers have expressed interest in those positions, but the Chairman is not one of them.”
Rumors of Oxley moving to the Monmouth Vicinage were rampant in the legal community and among GOP politicos the week before Thanksgiving as several people who received calls from the State Police performing a background check on the former sheriff spread the word.
Oxley passed the background check, according to sources. The bar association and the Monmouth Senate delegation still need to give their blessings before Governor Chris Christie will announce the nomination, which must be confirmed by the Senate.
“Nothing is official until the Governor makes his nomination,” Oxley told MMM in November, “as of now, I am completing my term and running for reelection as Chairman.”
Speculation for Oxley’s successor as chairman has centered around State GOP Committeewoman Christine Hanlon, State GOP Treasurer and former Senate President John Bennett, and former Assemblyman Steve Corodemus.
A source close to the former Assemblyman told MMM that Corodemus does not want the position.
Bennett and Hanlon could not be reached for comment.
Jim Giannell, the Kingmaker without a portfolio, told MMM that he won’t be a candidate for chairman should Oxley get benched. Giannell ran for chairman against Adam Puharic in 2006.
Howell Chairman John Costigan, who challenged Oxley in 2010, also said that he would not be seeking the office.