GOP council president, county chair go to war in Bridgewater

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. – The Republican establishment in New Jersey is undergoing a makeover as of late. Long-time chairmen are retiring. The most influential of the bunch is presently on trial for tax fraud. There’s turnover among elected officials. Primaries are cropping up, too, and change is in the air. 

Somerset County – where Democrats are in striking distance of control after Republicans dropped two freeholder seats last November – is no exception to the rule. Bridgewater is ground zero.

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Republican Councilman President Matt Moench is challenging the incumbent GOP mayor this June. Somerset GOP Chairman Al Gaburo denied Moench use of the official county party slogan.

On Wednesday, Moench authored a letter to Gaburo complaining of dark money pouring into the primary race and accusing the Republican chairman of endorsing incumbent Mayor Dan Hayes. The motive, Moench alleged directly to the chairman, is for Gaburo to be in a position to “direct Bridgewater’s tax dollars to contractors you favor.”

Moench and his slate are running on the ‘Bridgewater Republican Organization’ slogan instead of the county line.

“Rather than stand idly by as our Party’s fortunes sink even lower, we in Bridgewater will build on our prior successes and continue to foster an active, modern Republican Party in our town” with a goal to “fill the leadership voice left by the Somerset County Republican Organization.” 

Click here to read the letter

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Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that Chairman Gaburo had denied Moench and his slate the use of the county line. That is inaccurate. We apologize for the error.

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