BY Jack Gist, The Western JournalFebruary 10, 2023
1 year ago
 | February 10, 2023
1 year ago

Entire Elected City Council, Mayor Ditch Democratic Party and Become Republicans

As most Americans have come to realize, it's the red states that are doing their best to hold the line against the onslaught of a progressive federal government.

But what about blue states? Are the people who have to live in them doomed to a dystopian nightmare of soft totalitarianism that eats away at civil rights like sulfuric acid on metal?

The short answer is no, but it takes more than political will to accomplish it. It takes courage, heart and a genuine conviction to present the will of the people rather than the political status quo.

That appears to be happening in the small town of East Hanover, New Jersey, where Democrat Mayor Joseph Pannullo has decided to switch parties to the GOP, according to the New Jersey Globe.

That's not all. Council President Frank DeMaio, Jr, Councilwoman Carolyn Jandoli, Councilmen Brian Brokaw, Sr. and Michael Martorelli -- all Democrats -- are moving over to the GOP as well. This makes it a complete party flip in East Hanover.

A once royal blue town is now ruby red.

Though East Hanover is small with a population of just over 11,ooo people, the move bodes well for Republicans not only in East Hanover, but in New Jersey and even on a national scale.

Less than a hundred years ago, two-thirds of government spending was state-local in the U.S.  A mere one-third was federal, according to the Cato Institute.  Now it's around two-thirds federal and one-third state‐​local. That's quite the reversal.

It seems like a Herculean task for a local community in a blue state to take on state power -- let alone a progressive federal government bent on total control. But that shouldn't stop conservatives from trying. It has Biblical precedent. Remember David and Goliath?

“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 told the Globe.

A political leader focusing on the community he serves is not only refreshing -- it is indicative of a grassroots movement to save our towns from the toxic progressive creep that has infiltrated our schools and school boards, town councils and virtually every other institution built to serve the people.

“As the nastiness, rhetoric, and social media vitriol of national politics continues to infiltrate local governance," Pannullo continued, "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.”

That's the spirit!

New Jersey GOP Senate Minority Whip Anthony M. Bucco hailed the switch of Pannullo and the councilmembers as a “major win for the Republican Party and shows how out of touch and extreme the Democrat party has become. We welcome these well-respected local leaders to our party as we continue to expand our party’s reach.”

Pannullo and company did not switch political parties on a political whim. They had their fingers on the pulse of the people of East Hanover.

East Hanover, though mainly under democratic leadership at the time, supported Republican Jack Ciattarelli with 74% of the vote when he ran against Gov. Phil Murphy in 2021, according to Fox News.

Fox also reported that "Republican dominance was also shown in 2020 when the town gave then-President Trump 66% of the vote, and in 2022 when Paul DeGroot collected 68% of the vote against Rep. Mikie Sherrill."

The fact that Pannullo, DeMaio and Martorelli are up for re-election this year almost certainly impacted their decision to abandon their Democrat affiliation. This is good news. It appears the three didn't make the leap because of political pressure from outside interests or lobbies but because they were in tune with the wants and needs of the people they serve.

Bob Hugin, chairman of the New Jersey Republican State Committee, said the "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. 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."

Well said, Mr. Hugin. People, even many Democrats, are disillusioned with progressive policies. Politicians in both red and blues states who are aware of the changing tides will do what they can to serve their constituents -- or risk being run out of office.

That this is a local phenomenon bodes well.  In most instances, a state's Senate and House of Representatives vote on legislation before the governor decides to approve it, veto it or sign it into law. This makes local voting extremely important because elected local officials are most likely to vote based on the will of their constituents. That's you.

Call it a trickle-up effect that can make all the difference.

That's why it's never been more important for you to get out and vote.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Jack Gist, The Western Journal



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