The Assembly GOP may have selected its post-Bramnick leadership team. Will they be different?

The Assembly GOP may have selected its post-Bramnick leadership team. Will they be different?

A deal has been made, Save Jerseyans.

Assuming they all get reelected, the new GOP Assembly leadership team for the 2022-2023 legislature will be: Nancy Munoz (Republican Leader), John DiMaio (Conference Leader), Antwan McClellan (Whip), and Ned Thomson (Deputy Leader). I heard mid-week that the votes were probably there, and then someone tipped off the New Jersey Globe.

Republican insiders are celebrating a “diverse” slate. Nancy Munoz is a woman who would occupy a role that’s been all-male since the ’60s, and Antwan McClellan – a rising star and a rare South Jersey face on the leadership team – is a black legislator hailing from Mike Testa’s First Legislative District. The other two core leadership members aren’t racially diverse but they bring some geographic diversity to the team.

Diversity is nice. I mean that! Not for the absolutely racist reasons routinely asserted by the Left (that there’s some alleged intrinsic value to be found in a person with one skin color versus another), but because sometimes different messengers can carry a unified conservative message to different audiences with maximum effectiveness. Diverse leadership teams that come together ORGANICALLY can also be evidence of a successful expansion of the party’s base which is great.

But is diversity for the sake of diversity always a win? The most effective Garden State Republican statewide candidate and messenger in the past 30 years (Chris Christie) won a landslide in 2013 across racial lines despite being an overweight white dude. So if beating the Democrats and saving the state is your endgame, diversity for the sake of diversity clearly isn’t the most important criterion, is it?

What we need in the Republican Party are fighters, folks. I don’t care what color or gender they are. If they believe in the Constitution? Our American Experiment? And conservative solutions capable of lifting ALL boats as opposed to the divisive, disastrous socialist policies of the dominant regime? We want them and need them!

We haven’t had many fighters in the Assembly caucus for a long, long time. I can count them on one hand.

Antwan McClellan: A rising star from South Jersey

For the record: I do like my fellow South Jerseyan Antwan McClellan quite a bit, and I think he’s got a lot of potential. It’s a big deal for a freshman to make the leadership circle. Unfortunately, whips traditionally operate behind the scenes whipping votes. They’re not front men. We’ll see what he does with the job. I am happy to see South Jersey finally occupying a seat at the table, not only because I live in South Jersey but also because that’s where many of the state’s most competitive legislative districts lie. It makes all the sense in the world for a South Jersey guy to play a role in strategy… assuming they allow him to have a say.

Nancy Munoz – who hails from Jon Bramnick’s 21st Legislative District – is more of a question mark. If we’re being honest, she hasn’t exactly been a vocal “fighter” to date during her tenure in Trenton aside from NJ Transit issues. She never publicly criticized her running mate Jon Bramnick when he dumped on President Trump, partied with Phil Murphy in his own backyard, or failed to aggressively challenge Democrat outrages under the Dome. On the pandemic front? Almost nothing in terms of countering the Democrats’ bad premises, and that’s a shame because she’s a nurse so her testimony against the lockdowns and mandatory masking of children would’ve been powerful. I did hear through the grapevine that she was aggressive helping battleground candidates with money this time around. Was Munoz motivated solely by the necessities of this leadership contest? Or is it a sign that she may adopt a different approach than her district-mate, presumptive state Senator Bramnick? Only time will tell.

I am starting to wonder if there’s something in the GOP caucus’s unwritten rule book post-Alex DeCroce that says the Westfield political circle has first dibs on the top job??? I mean com’on!

In any event, the only candidate for the top leadership post this time around who’s shown a willingness to publicly criticize Jon Bramnick’s disastrous tenure openly is Brian Bergen (R-25), a freshman legislator from Denville with a history of speaking out since he arrived in Trenton. In announcing his own candidacy for GOP leader, he accurately accused his own caucus of “happy captive” syndrome. I guess that was a little too much truth for some career politicians. By the way: I’m told he’s still in the race for now.

I don’t “endorse” or push my opinion on people in these internal GOP contests, Save Jerseyans. I say it all the time… I am a Republican but this isn’t a Republican website. We’re loyal to the cause, not any one person or party.

Please be advised that this unapologetic Jersey boy is Missouri moving forward: show me. No candidate or leader has an automatic claim to my support unless they demonstrate a tireless commitment to taking on the bad guys day in, day out, and without exception. If the new team puts that attitude into practice? I know you’ll join me in cheering them on.

If they don’t? We’ll make sure they hear about it.