Edward “Ned” Thomson, former mayor of Wall Township, has been selected to replace Assemblyman David Rible, who resigned his seat in June to serve as director of the state’s Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). The decision was made Monday night at a special convention of the district’s Republican Party. He will serve as assemblyman for District 30, which straddles a swath of Ocean and Monmouth counties and includes Lakewood.
Monmouth County Republican Chairman Shaun Golden issued a statement thanking Mr. Thomson “for his willingness to take on the rigors of being a legislator, as well as the demanding community and political commitments the job requires.”
Mr. Thomson was one of five candidates for the post, along with Ralph Addonizio of Wall, James Bean of Belmar, Justin Flancbaum of Lakewood, and Gary Rich of Spring Lake. State Senator Robert Singer had endorsed Mr. Flancbaum, who is executive director of the Lakewood Township Municipal Utilities Authority and the GOP Municipal Chairman of Lakewood, and holds several other local positions. However, Assemblyman Sean Kean, who is the district’s other representative in the lower house, backed Mr. Thomson.
In light of Mr. Rible’s mid-term resignation, a replacement had to be selected to fill the seat at a special convention. According to the Monmouth County GOP, Mr. Thomson received 83 votes from the 154 delegates present. Mr. Flancbaum garnered 53.
Mr. Thomson served on the Wall Township Committee for over 20 years and is the president of an actuarial services firm, according to local media outlets. He will serve in the Assembly for what remains of Mr. Rible’s term, and will then appear on the ticket in November’s elections. He is strongly favored to carry the heavily Republican district.
Governor Chris Christie selected Mr. Rible to lead the ABC. The appointment will only last until the end of the governor’s tenure this coming December, at which point his successor will select someone for the post. He had served as District 30’s assemblyman since 2012.