Author: Rory B. Bellows
Should Steve Lonegan win the Republican nomination for Governor in the June 2nd primary, there are reports that the establishment may not let him have the courtesey off choosing his own state party chairman to serve until the campaign is over.
This is foolish. In past elections, insurgent candidates have thrown the establishment a bone and nominated an acceptable party chair to serve the customary 6 month interim term. These days we have a new Lt. Governor position and Lonegan could choose a nominee to the laregly symbolic position as an effort to unite the party.
However, while Lonegan will make efforts to unite the party they must be returned. Having insiders, as opposed to the nominee, pick the party chair is a clear signal to Lonegan’s supporters that they have their place in the party but it is not at the head of the table. One of the reasons the New jersey Republican Party is do disspirited is because conservatives are constantly reminded that they are not welcomed guests. New Jersey conservatives get invited to the party because they kicked the door in, not because the host wants them there.