TRENTON, NJ — Gov. Chris Christie has nominated Assemblyman Dave Rible (R-Monmouth) to become director of the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).
Filed on June 16, the nomination must now be approved by the State Senate, following a confirmation hearing by the Senate Judiciary Committee. If confirmed, it is unclear who would run on the GOP ticket in November for Rible’s Assembly seat.
The Wall resident is currently serving his fifth term in the Assembly, most recently representing District 30, which includes Belmar and Lake Como. He also currently serves as the Assembly Republican Conference leader.
A retired Wall police officer, Rible is a member of the Assembly Law and Public Safety, Education and Higher Education committees, and serves on the State House Commission. He also is a board member for Monmouth County Crime Stoppers.
If the Senate approves Rible’s appointment, he will replace acting ABC director Jonathan Orsen, who was nominated by Christie for a judgeship on the N.J. Tax Court.
It is believed that Rible’s law enforcement background and record in Trenton on alcohol-related issues contributed to Gov. Christie’s decision to nominate him for the ABC top post.
In May, Rible applauded Gov. Christie’s action to veto a bill that would have permanently extended seasonal liquor licenses for two months, citing the measure would adversely affect the financial stability of establishments with year-round licenses There are only seven seasonal licenses in New Jersey — six of which are in Monmouth County, including one held by D’Jais in Belmar.
“Those who purchase their licenses agree to operate under certain terms, which should not be subject to change on the whims of certain licensees," Rible said in a statement at that time. "Bar and restaurants that purchase a liquor license — often for hundreds of thousands of dollars — must operate on a level playing field. Our state government should not choose winners and losers in this industry."
Rible also called the action "a victory for residents whose quality of life would have been greatly diminished by allowing these establishments to operate even longer."
Born and raised in Belmar, he is former captain, president and life member of the Belmar Fire Department and served on the Belmar First Aid Squad before moving to Wall.