by WorldTribune Staff, February 10, 2023
East Hanover, New Jersey is taking party flipping to the next level.
Mayor Joseph Pannullo and all four members of the township council announced they were switching from Democrat to Republican, the New Jersey Globe reported on Feb. 7.
Joining Pannullo in ditching the Democrats and joining the GOP are Council President Frank DeMaio Jr., Councilwoman Carolyn Jandoli, and Councilmen Brian Brokaw Sr., and Michael Martorelli.
“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,” said Pannullo. “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.”
Pannullo, who has been mayor of East Hanover for 16 years, is up for re-election this year, as are DeMaio and Martorelli.
President Donald Trump carried East Hanover with 66% in 2020, and GOP congressional candidate Paul DeGroot won 68% there in his 2022 campaign against Rep. Mikie Sherrill.
Laura Marie Ali, the chair of the Morris County Republican Party, credited Hanover Mayor Ace Gallagher for convincing the East Hanover officials to switch parties.
“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.”
New Jersey state Senate Minority Whip Anthony M. Bucco said it is “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.”
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