Mike Thulen has dropped out of the Brick school board race and has endorsed John Talty for the seat both men were seeking.
Talty is effectively running for his own seat, from which he resigned earlier this year after his recovery from open heart surgery was not progressing as quickly as planned. But after his recovery sped up in the weeks following his resignation, he sought to rescind it. Several votes to reinstate Talty resulted in a 3-3 tie, leading the county superintendent of schools to appoint Vito Gagliardi, Sr., a former state education commissioner who is a Brick resident, to the seat temporarily.
Thulen, a former township council member, said he recently had a conversation with Talty, after which he felt Talty deserved the seat.
“The reason I stepped up to the plate because I felt I could be a lightning rod to get things done,” said Thulen. “I’d rather see him win as a known individual. I would not want to take votes away from him.”
Thulen immediately put to bed the rumor that would have doubtlessly cropped up – that he could be seeking to regain a seat on the township council following the departure of Dan Toth from the Republican ticket.
“I’m not running for council,” Thulen said.
He suggested anyone who was planning on voting for him in the BOE race now shift their votes to Talty.
“We know what he’s trying to do for us, for the kids and the taxpayers,” Thulen said.