A New Jersey town council and the mayor of the town have unanimously decided to switch parties — from Democrat to Republican.
The town council of East Hanover, population 11,000, consists of Council President Frank DeMaio, Jr., Councilwoman Carolyn Jandoli and Councilmen Brian Brokaw, Sr. and Michael Martorelli. Along with Mayor Joseph Pannullo — a Democrat who ousted Republican Mayor William Agnellino in 2007 — they will join the Republican Party, the New Jersey Globe reported.
“Municipal leaders have a responsibility to best represent their constituents, and it is our belief this change of party is in the best interest of the community,” Pannullo stated. “As the nastiness, rhetoric, and social media vitriol of national politics continues to infiltrate local governance, we collectively determined this was the best course of action to keep the focus on local issues impacting our community — combating the overburdening and unrealistic fair-share housing mandates, keeping taxes stable, enhancing our parks and investing in public safety needs to be our local priorities. Every decision my administration makes is about putting East Hanover first; this is no different.”
The five Democrats were reportedly convinced to change parties by Hanover Mayor Ace Gallagher, according to Morris County GOP Chair Laura Marie Ali.
“The entire Republican Party in Morris County is welcoming Mayor Pannullo and East Hanover’s four Council members to our family with open arms and great excitement,” Ali said. “East Hanover is an exceptionally run town with great leadership. It is clear we share the same values as Mayor Pannullo and his Council and we are so excited to have them be part of our Republican family.”
“Today’s complete party flip on the East Hanover Township Council — a first in New Jersey history — is an early signal of the Republicans’ growing momentum ahead of the critical November elections, Bob Hugin, chairman of the New Jersey Republican State Committee celebrated. “Voters know that any official running with a ‘D’ next to their name in our one-party control state is responsible for aiding and abetting the radical Phil Murphy agenda that is driving energy prices up and people out of their homes.
Senate Minority Whip Anthony M. Bucco called the Democrats’ switch “a major win for the Republican Party and shows how out of touch and extreme the Democrat party has become,” adding, “We welcome these well-respected local leaders to our party as we continue to expand our party’s reach.”