By Erica Jedynak
At the start of 2018, the year is already proving to be a Year for Women. Whether on the national stage or the local level, more women than ever are running for office and effectuating positive change in their communities. Here in New Jersey, there are many women who come to mind who are stepping up and making waves. Jersey Girls are the perfect balance of class and sass, and in the world of politics, breaking glass ceilings is just their thing. The following is a list of 30 such women on the right:
- Abrahamsen, Patty
Abrahamsen was recently sworn in as Council Vice President for Rockaway Township, where she has been a pillar of the community and law enforcement.
- Allen, Lisa
A Personal Leadership Coach and local media maven, Allen is a staple in Union County politics and has stepped up in Summit to drive the dialogue for a more affordable city and state.
- Becchi, Rosemary
Rumored as a potential draft to run in CD-7, Becchi boasts a background on Capitol Hill and K Street, and is a member of the Board of Directors of Running Start, an organization that brings young women into politics.
- Chadwick, Vicki
Formerly the Vice-Chair of the New Jersey Young Republican Federation, Chadwick is a tireless volunteer for campaigns across the state. All eyes are on her next move, perhaps a run for office.
- Cook, Brielle
President of the Montville Republican Club, Cook has the helm of one of the largest active voting blocks in Morris county, and has taken on the role alongside her dynamic career as a nurse, model, and volunteer firefighter.
- Darling, Heather
Darling, a lawyer and former competitive bodybuilder, recently joined the Morris County Freeholder Board after being mistakenly perceived as an underdog in the heated 2017 primary. She joins the first female majority Freeholder Board in the county’s history.
- DeAlmeida, Samantha
New Jersey Hospital Association lobbyist DeAlmeida is an example of a renaissance woman who is always taking on new challenges, whether as a newly minted college professor or the Advocacy Director for Hoof Prints on the Heart, a non-profit dedicated to equine therapy with rescued horses.
- DeGerolamo, Danielle
Phillipsburg’s newest Councilwoman, Council Vice President, and likely new Municipal Chair, won in Warren County’s largest municipality, which went for Murphy.
- DePalma, Amanda
The sun might be setting on the outgoing administration, but Governor Christie’s Deputy Chief of Staff and former operative is sure to have a bright future wherever she sets her sights next.
- Edelson, Maureen
Edelson restarted the Essex County Women’s Republican Club last year and is expected to bring the organization to new heights.
- Gatto, Amy
Gatto is an Atlantic County Freeholder and was Hamilton Township’s youngest mayor in history. Through her leadership, Hamilton eliminated a structural deficit without raising taxes.
- Gibbs, Kate
Burlington County Deputy Freeholder Director Gibbs was the youngest woman to be elected Freeholder in the state’s history and heads into a competitive race with the advantage.
- Hoffman-Henne, Jeanette
President of Marathon Public Affairs, Hoffman-Henne is a fixture under the dome and continues to shine in the media.
- Hughes, Linda
Bayada Healthcare Communications Executive and former Burlington County Freeholder Hughes recently returned to the board through a special county committee vote.
- Kass, Alida
The new President of the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute and President of the New Jersey Federalist Society, Kass has both sharp legal intellect and principles, a formidable combination in Trenton.
- Kern, Maureen
Kern is the first female Vice Chair of the Atlantic County Freeholder Board and the National Sales Manager for the Tropicana Casino & Resort.
- La Franco, Vanessa
Formerly the New Jersey Republican Women Federation’s President, La Franco is moving onto the National Board as Treasurer, making New Jersey a player on the national stage.
- Myers, Christine
Myers, the new Deputy Director of the Morris County Freeholder Board was recently appointed as a Regional Advocate for the U.S. Small Business Administration under President Trump.
- Napolitano, Victoria
The youngest female Mayor in New Jersey history, Napolitano currently serves as a Councilwoman in Moorestown Township.
- Neibart, Sarah
As the only statewide, female political director of the 2017 campaign cycle, Neibart’s next move will be closely watched.
- Overman, Amy
Senate Republican Budget Chair Tony Bucco’s Chief of Staff is a staple of Senate Republican politics with an even temper and dedication to making government work for residents.
- Renna, Raychel
Renna managed the Sera and Taube for Assembly campaign in battleground LD-2, and is expected to rejoin the Atlantic County scene after managing Claudia Tenney’s competitive race for Congress in upstate New York.
- Rohr, Jessica
Aide to Congressman Chris Smith, Rohr has a promising future in the years ahead.
- Rosone, Ashley
The spirited New Jersey College Republican Chair has both grit and organizing power, which will serve her well in her next campaign role, soon to be announced.
- Swagher, Lauren
Assistant Cape May County Counsel Swagher narrowly lost a race for Surrogate and is expected to have a long-term future in the party.
- Ugalde, Sydney
The recently elected Morris County Young Republican Chair commands one of the strongest chapters in the state.
- Winegar, Theresa
The new Executive Director of NJGOP, Winegar is certain to rebrand the organization and bring an energized new leadership.
28-30.LD-40 Chiefs of Staff
Republican stronghold LD-40 boasts three female Chiefs of Staff, and a formidable team in 2018: Daniella Tsakos for Sen. Corrado, Amy Johnston for Asm. Rooney, and Brittany Wheeler for Asm. DePhillips.
*Former Jersey Girls Kelly Anne Conaway (Counselor to President Donald Trump); Edith Jorge (RNC Director of Strategic Initiatives); and Stephanie Fila (Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Relations under HUD Secretary Ben Carson)
*All of the Republican Women of the New Jersey Legislature and outgoing Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno
(Since it was difficult enough narrowing down this list to just 30, it is sorted alphabetically. There are hundreds of impressive women among the ranks of NJ politics, so please don’t be offended if you weren’t listed. This was a collaboration of nominations from several trusted sources around the state.)