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2020 Candidate for Ocean County Freeholder

Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari, an experienced and staunch advocate for consumers, seniors, education, tourism, and the local business community, is up for re-election in November 2020.

The longest-serving Freeholder in the state of New Jersey, Director Vicari has served on the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders since 1981 and is currently in his 13th term on the Board. Freeholder Director Vicari also served as mayor of the state's 10th largest community five times during his tenure as a Toms River (Dover) Township Committeeman between 1980 to 1994.

A lifelong educator, Freeholder Director Vicari has given his support to the many programs at the nationally recognized Ocean County Vocational-Technical Schools, in addition to the partnership forged with Kean University providing local students with a four-year degree on the Ocean County College Campus. He is a staunch advocate for the new OCVTS Performing Arts Academy located on the campus of Ocean County College.  


As a supporter of fiscally conservative policies, Freeholder Director Vicari takes pride in the efforts of the entire Board of Freeholders that has resulted in the County maintaining a AAA bond rating – the highest possible – even during difficult economic times. Freeholder Director Vicari’s fiscally conservative policies are reflected in the fact that the tax rate has continued to decline for the fifth straight year.


Freeholder Director Vicari promotes doing business locally through his “Buy in Ocean County” program. In 2014, his efforts to work with local businesses expanded with the creation of the Division of Business Development and Tourism.


He additionally serves as liaison to the Ocean County's Workforce Development Board, Ocean County Library system, Ocean County’s Airport, Tourism, and Business Advisory Council and serves as Chairman of the Office of Senior Services.


He continues to spearhead economic stimulus programs with partnerships between the County and with the military. A staunch supporter for Joint Base – McGuire, Dix, Lakehurst, Freeholder Director Vicari promotes the many economic benefits of the base as it relates to Ocean County.


Freeholder Director Vicari has received the Monmouth-Ocean Development Council Silver Gull Award for business achievement, the Toms River-Ocean County Chamber of Commerce Award for leadership and service, and has been honored as an Outstanding Leader by the Ocean County Tourism Advisory Council. He is a recipient of the 2004 Governor's Tourism Elected Official Leadership Award and the Southern New Jersey Development Council's Economic Development Award. Freeholder Director Vicari is also the recipient of the 2017 CASA of Ocean County “I Am for the Child Award.”


Under Freeholder Director Vicari’s direction, Ocean County was the first county in New Jersey to complete a comprehensive energy master plan. He currently is working with Buildings and Grounds to implement cost-saving energy saving recommendations at many of the 135 buildings maintained by Ocean County.


After graduating St. Peter's College, Jersey City, he earned his M.A. in education, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Fairleigh Dickinson University. A lifelong educator, he worked as a teacher, elementary school principal and as Superintendent of Schools.


Freeholder Director Vicari is committed to working for the people of Ocean County. His dedication and life long service to Ocean County has shown his leadership to be second to none. Freeholder Director Vicari is looking forward to continuing his service to the people of Ocean County and forward to his re-election to the Ocean County Freeholder Board come this November.