The New Jersey Republican Party is in serious disarray right now, Save Jerseyans. There’s no denying it.
Remember those space movies where they mother ship goes down and the rest of the aliens float around directionless?
Yup, same thing basically!
Most of the Christie Administration’s key lieutenants in state and/or party positions are either gone, under investigation or under active subpoena. That’s problematic on multiple levels…
More than one active Republican has remarked to me in recent days how “weird” or “strange” it feels to have a crisis drag on for weeks without directives flowing from former Christie enforcer and strategist Bill Stepien down throughout the command structure.
Who can do the job? Who would WANT that job??
Several reliable sources familiar with state committee deliberations are telling Save Jersey that the word is out among party leaders in the county and legislative spheres of influence:
Governor Christie intends to recall Mayor Sam Raia (R-Saddle River) to active duty as chairman only weeks after he stepped aside for Stepien.
At least that’s where the inner circle is leaning. Nothing’s confirmed or formal. Still, there’s nothing surprising about a Raia return. How it’s procedurally accomplished (I’ve heard a couple of theories to speed the process) is irrelevant.
Lynda Pagliughi (R-Avalon), Vice Chairwoman of the committee, serves as acting chair during the vacancy created by Raia’s departure. The problem, I’m told, lies in the realization – given voice by party leaders around the state – of spreading discontent and confusion in the ranks as subpoenas drop and party functions screech to a halt. A lack of focus on party-building also continues to rank as a top complaint of loyal soldiers in county committees.
Raia is a known quantity for the Governor and fully-vetted, both qualities which may trump everything else at the moment given the top Republican official’s precarious political position. The former U.S. Attorney just got burned by “young” staffers; with his NJ GOP under subpoena, he’s likely to rely on an adult to take the reins.