This isn't your average Oceanport Republican Primary.

Salnick, Lacko, and Pisane challenge Tvrdik, Gallo and Keeshen for the Republican nomination to Oceanport Mayor and Council, but this primary just might decide the election.

The Osprey caught up with both candidates on Monday June 5th to add supporting information for Election Day.

Avatar of Rocco Farrell

Rocco Farrell

Osprey covers TGK vs SLP

The Oceanport Republican Primary election is this Tuesday, June 6th, and one thing's for sure: this isn't your average municipal Republican primary.

Residents are set to witness a face-off as two groups of candidates vie for the Republican Party nomination for Mayor and two council seats. This year's primary election takes a unique turn as no candidates have registered for the Democratic Party or as independent contenders, making the Republican primary the sole battleground for political aspirations in the town.

In the event of a loss in the Primary, the defeated candidate would have the last resort option of pursuing a write-in campaign during the November election. However, the write-in path presents numerous challenges, underscoring the significance of the Oceanport Republican Primary as a pivotal race within the town.

Primary Ballot

Oceanport Primary Ballot (

The Future of Oceanport

Netflix to Oceanport

Rendering of the Netflix campus on Ft. Monmouth (Source: Netflix)

This year's election has taken on unprecedented significance, as the town charts a course towards an exciting future of economic development. The impending arrival of streaming giant Netflix, with their potential commitment of approximately $1 billion, has put Oceanport in the spotlight of major investment opportunities.

With Netflix entering due diligence on a deal that could transform the town's landscape, the incoming town leadership must be well-prepared to navigate the complexities of this significant development. The streaming giant's interest in Oceanport offers a remarkable opportunity for economic growth, job creation, and increased visibility for the town. However, it also poses substantial challenges that demand strategic planning and effective decision-making from the town's elected officials on the topics of infrastructure, housing, zoning, and municipal services. As the elected mayor holds a seat on the board of FMERA, the decisions made by the newly elected officials will shape the town's future, ensuring that Oceanport retains its vibrant and prosperous community.

The Candidates

  • Tom Tvrdik (Mayor)
  • Rick Gallo (Council)
  • Bryan Keeshen (Council)

Tvrdik, Gallo & Keeshen groupshot

Left to Right: Rick Gallo, Tom Tvrdik, Bryan Keeshen


  • Keith Salnick (Mayor)
  • Danielle Lacko (Council)
  • Dana Pisane (Council)

Salnick Lacko & Pisane groupshot

Left to Right: Dana Pisane, Keith Salnick, Danielle Lacko

Tvrdik Gallo & Keeshen

Tvrdik Gallo & Keeshen

An overview from the Tvrdik Gallo & Keeshen ticket

Tom Tvrdik, Rick Gallo, and Bryan Keeshen, who are currently serving on the town council, are running for re-election in the upcoming race. The trio boasts an impressive background, with extensive experience, strong local connections, and a lengthy history of dedicated public service totaling more than 30 years. In an interview with The Osprey conducted on the eve of the election, Tom, Rick, and Bryan expressed their deep ties to the Oceanport community. All three candidates are proud products of the Oceanport school system and alumni of Shore Regional High School. Notably, Tom's personal connection to the community is strengthened by his children's current enrollment in the Oceanport school system.

Over the past five years, Tom, Rick, and Bryan have played pivotal roles as council members, overseeing numerous advancements in Oceanport. Notable achievements include substantial enhancements to municipal parks such as Maria Gatta Park, Blackberry Park, and the Community Center. Additionally, they have prioritized crucial infrastructure projects, leading to significant improvements in roadways and sidewalks throughout the town. Their commitment to public safety is evident through increased police funding, which has facilitated the presence of officers in local schools.

In their discussion with The Osprey, Tom, Rick, and Bryan emphasized their unwavering support for Oceanport's volunteer services, including the Office of Emergency Management, fire department, and first aid squad. Tom aptly summarized their perspective, stating, "Oceanport is a town built on the backs of our volunteers."

In the words of Jay Coffey, Current Oceanport Mayor:

Tom Tvrdik, Rick Gallo and Bryan Keeshen have served with each other as Councilmen since January 1, 2020. Rick Gallo has served on the Borough Council for 19 years, while Bryan and Tom have been on the Council since January of 2020. During the three year and a half year period they have been on the Council together, the Borough of Oceanport has improved its responsiveness to its citizenry, restored its relationships with our volunteer and paid first responders, substantially upgraded our parks, roads and other infrastructure, enhanced our Department of Public Works’ capabilities, entered into cost saving shared services agreements with FMERA, the County of Monmouth and the Oceanport Board of Education, and overseen the establishment of a new municipal complex and the redevelopment of the site of the former municipal complex. All of this was done with a minimal increase to the municipal tax rate, and all of this was done as a result of their hard work and commitment as public servants.

Tvrdik Gallo Keeshen sign

Vote for Tvrdik Gallo Keeshen sign in Oceanport

They have a Facebook Group with additional information on their campaign.


Salnick Lacko & Pisane

Salnick Lacko & Pisane

An overview from the Salnick Lacko & Pisane ticket

Keith Salnick, Danielle Lacko, and Dana Pisane might be considered the fresh faces in this crucial primary race, but their innovative approach and well-executed digital campaign have garnered attention. Branded under the tagline "Truth Transparency and Togetherness", these prospective leaders have significantly boosted their engagement across various digital channels, including their official website, Facebook, and Instagram.

The Osprey had the opportunity to catch up with Salnick, Lacko, and Pisane to discuss their digital strategy and their efforts to connect with the community. Keith Salnick emphasized the importance of digital communication in the year 2023, highlighting its potential impact on his mayoral campaign and potential tenure. He underlined the utilization of modern techniques, such as Facebook Polling within the Oceanport Residents group, as instrumental in engaging with an electorate that increasingly embraces digital platforms.

Salnick Lacko Pisane sign

Vote for Salnick Lacko Pisane sign at their Meet and Greet

Salnick, Lacko, and Pisane's embrace of digital channels demonstrates their recognition of the evolving needs and preferences of Oceanport's residents. By focusing on building an online presence, they aim to foster open lines of communication, transparency, and accessibility. This strategic approach acknowledges the power of digital platforms in reaching a broader audience and facilitating meaningful conversations.

As part of this committment to transparency, Salnick Lacko & Pisane shared with the Osprey a comprehensive list of key issues they intend to address:

  1. Maria Gatta Park: the candidates recognize the significance of the proposed $5+ million investment required to complete the fields. They seek to gauge the level of support or opposition from the town's residents regarding this project.

  2. The Future of Monmouth Park: Rumors of potential development, including a hotel, 500 residential units, and 100 affordable housing units, have sparked concern among the community. the candidates intend to delve into these rumors, engaging with the public to ensure their voices are heard and their interests are protected.

  3. Development at Fort Monmouth: Salnick is acutely aware of the magnitude of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and the responsibility it carries. Elected officials must ensure that the development at Fort Monmouth is executed meticulously and adheres to the highest standards. The candidates are dedicated to ensuring that the development is done right and in a manner that benefits a current and future Oceanport.

  4. Engaging Millennials and Young Residents in Volunteer Organizations: Recognizing the need to revitalize Oceanport's volunteer organizations, Salnick acknowledges that attracting new members, particularly from the millennial generation, is crucial. He aims to explore innovative strategies and initiatives to foster increased engagement and participation in these vital community organizations.

  5. Blackberry Bay Pool Area: The candidates recognize the concerns regarding the state of the Blackberry Bay pool area and the desire for action. They are committed to addressing these concerns promptly, with a clear focus on finding practical solutions and implementing necessary improvements.


Election Information

The Republican Primary is scheduled to take place on June 6th. Registered Republican voters in Oceanport will have the opportunity to cast their ballots and participate in the candidate selection process. If you are currently unregistered/independent, you will be able to register as Republican at the polling location.

In-person voting will be held at designated polling locations within Oceanport. You can find your polling location using the NJ Polling Location Finder


This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement of any candidate or political party.