The man who has served as Toms River's police chief since 1992 has been tapped by Republicans to run for Ocean County sheriff.
Michael Mastronardy was nominated to run by Ocean County Republicans during their Monday night convention in Toms River, the chief confirmed to Patch. The post has been vacant since longtime sheriff, 84-year-old William Polhemus, died last December shortly following his re-election.
Mastronardy said during an interview with Patch Tuesday afternoon that he hopes to bring his years of experience as Toms River's police leader to the county level.
"It's appropriate for me to thank them for their support to provide for the public safety of the residents of the county," he said. "As long as I'm physically able and feel like I'm helping people, I will continue to."
Voters will choose the sheriff in November — Gov. Christie, who made an appearance at the Monday convention, has not indicated who he will appoint to serve in the interim. Ocean County Freeholder Jack Kelly was rumored to be in consideration for sheriff.
Mastronardy said that he continues to focus on his duties as Toms River's chief and has not yet began to focus on his campaign for sheriff.
"Right now I'm doing my duties as chief of police," he said.