Toms River Councilman Maurice Hill's assertion of support from Brick Township's Republican Club for a Congressional run turns out to be premature.

Club President John Catalano and Republican Municipal Chairman Brian DeLuca today declared that they'd vote for ex-Randolph Mayor Tom MacArthur at this Wednesday's county convention in Toms River.

MacArthur has the recommendation of the Ocean and Burlington County Republican Screening Committees to carry the GOP banner into the battle to succeed Jon Runyan as New Jersey's District 3 Representative.

Last week, Hill had claimed the support of the township Republicans, based on a straw vote. Estimates of the number who voted vary wildly, but Hill and Catalano both concede that it was nowhere near the full membership.

The Brick GOP also supports county Freeholder Joe Vicari for re-election.

“This was not an easy decision, nor one that we took lightly," Catalano said in a prepared statement, noting that the Screening Committee's observations factored heavily in their considerations.

“As a businessman myself, I respect Tom’s immense success in the private sector and his ability to deal with the fiscal mess in Washington," he continued.

"Moreover, as we rebuild the Republican Party in Brick Township, we are confident that Tom is going to be there with us every step of the way."

DeLuca acknowledged that MacArthur is among several candidates he considers qualified and capable to represent the district on Capitol Hill.

“But when you take into account all the factors involved in picking a candidate for such a competitive congressional district, Tom MacArthur stands out from the rest and is clearly the best choice for Brick Township and the Brick Township Republican Party," he said.

"John and I are excited to get behind Tom, to cast our votes for him at the Convention, and to work hard on his behalf throughout this campaign,” DeLuca said.