What a night, Save Jerseyans!
As promised, we have a few new Republican county chairman across the state tonight as committees in Mercer, Monmouth and Passaic elect brand spankin’ new leaders for the upcoming cycle.
In Mercer, Republicans unanimously backed Councilman Rich Levesque (R-Robbinsville) to replace outgoing Co-Chair Maria Bua. Uneventful.
Things were a little more interesting in Passaic where John Traier defeated Scott Heck for the PCRRO chairmanship. Outgoing chairman and current Asm. Scott Rumana had backed Traier until former GOP Chairman Peter Murphy filed his own slate of challengers against the PCRRO candidates. Murphy had backed Heck and so, as luck would have, Rumana said “to heck with Heck” and recruited Traier. Chairman Traier won with 210 votes to Scott Heck’s 163 votes. Exciting!
Still, the REAL thriller of the night award goes to the Monmouth GOP. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised – it was an ugly fight from Day One. When the dust finally settled, former Governor John O. Bennett came from behind and bested his opponent, Christine Hanlon, by just THREE votes! 309 to 306. MMM is attributing Bennett’s victory, at least in part, to what Art describes as a superior speech that won over undecideds. Who knows. I wasn’t there, although there were certainly plenty of currents and crosscurrents behind the scenes. You can visit our Monmouth GOP archives for the full back story. Needless to say, it was a good night for Anna Little and a disappointing evening (shockingly so!) for Hanlon supporters including our buddy Joe Kyrillos.