Bittersweet month for NJ GOP

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Republicans in all 50 states can find plenty of reasons to celebrate this November, Save Jerseyans, but here in New Jersey, we’re going to be missing some family members even as we look forward to 2015 and beyond.

Former Congresswoman Marge Roukema died in Wycoff on Wednesday at age 85. She was an old school Rockefeller Republican (read: “liberal”) with whom I couldn’t have more strongly disagreed on important issues like abortion and family medical leave but, by all accounts, was a very nice lady and dedicated public servant who argued passionately for a “big tent” Republican Party, an idea which I think most GOP’ers are starting to reconcile themselves to as the Obama years plod along to their conclusion. You can’t survive in a two-party system by demanding purity of everyone on your team! It hurt Republicans in 2008 and 2012; it’s hurting Democrats right now. Where Roukema got it wrong? The Republican Party didn’t win in 2014 by moderating. It won by getting better and smarter at articulating its core conservative message to a larger audience. I never met her but would’ve loved the chance to respectfully debate it with her!

We extend our sincerest sympathies to the Congresswoman’s family at this difficult time.

We also lost former State Senator Robert Littell, father of incumbent Asw. Alison Littell McHose and patriarch of a NJ GOP family right up there with the Kean and Frelinghuysen families in terms of a collective service record, on Friday after a long bout of illness at age 78. A maverick with conservative instincts, he served as chairman of the budget committee and famously scrapped with Christie Whitman over her management of the state pension fund, moves which exacerbated and catalyzed many of our ongoing pension woes. “Bob will never be forgotten as a tireless and universally respected leader who accomplished so much for the state of New Jersey and his home District 24,” the younger Kean, our current Senate Republican leader, said in a statement issued shortly after news of Senator Littell’s passing broke. “His legacy of service and bipartisanship persists in Trenton, after his 40-years in the legislature and his service for our country as a U.S. Marine. I offer my deepest condolences and my continuing thoughts and prayers to his wife, Ginnie, their daughter, Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose, their son, Luke, and their entire family.”

Save Jersey joins Senator Tom Kean in offering our condolences to Asw. McHose and everyone impacted by her father’s very full life. We could definitely use some more of his common sense under the dome these days!

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