In a refreshing move, the entire city council in a New Jersey town has switched their party affiliation from Democrat to Republican. The leaders of East Hanover, N.J., expressed their disgust with the “nastiness” and “vitriol” of national politics, which has infiltrated local governance and influenced the Dems’ increasingly leftward shift.
Morris County Republican Committee Chairwoman Laura Ali, in a statement, expressed her delight that Mayor Joseph Pannullo, council President Frank DeMaio, and fellow members Brian Brokaw, Carolyn Jandoli, and Michael Martorelli had all joined the GOP “after months of good conversations.”
The new GOP members have outlined their priorities, which include combating the overburdening and unrealistic fair-share housing mandates, keeping taxes stable, enhancing parks, and investing in public safety needs.
In response to the council’s political shift, Democrats in Morris County responded with disappointment, with Morris County’s Democratic chairwoman, Amalia Duarte, saying, “Of course, I am disappointed.”
However, the fact that the county is historically a Republican stronghold in the state cannot be ignored. Even though Democratic voter registrations have been closing the gap in recent years, Donald Trump won big in East Hanover in 2020, capturing 66% of the vote.
Last year, Republican Paul DeGroot carried the township with 68% in his unsuccessful bid to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill in the 11th Congressional District. Sherrill won with 57% of the overall district, including 53% in Morris County.
The Democratic response seems to be a denial of the county’s changing dynamics. State Assemblyman Brian Bergen, who represents the 26th district, which includes East Hanover, acknowledged the progress the Republican Party has made, and the switch by the town council to join the party is a great indication of this progress. “2023 will be a big year, and this is just the beginning,” he said.
It is clear that the Republican Party shares the same values as Mayor Panullo and his council, and they are excited to have them be part of their Republican family.
As we approach the upcoming elections, it is essential to note that Democrats in Morris County have become stagnant, while Democrats have momentum.
Democrats made up only 15% of registered voters in Morris County 20 years ago, but today, Morris County is 30% Democrat, while Republicans are at 34%. This trend is just going to continue, so it is time for voters to pay attention and vote wisely.