Challenging the status quo is never easy.
This truism seems to be confronting Ali and Anna Aydin, a couple from Long Valley who are seeking two Republican state committee seats from Morris County in next week’s primary.
Sure, the state committee is an obscure body, but in pure political terms, an important one. The state GOP committee is made up of 42 members – a man and woman – from each of the 21 counties.
The incumbents representing Morris on the committee are Larry Casha and Christina Ramirez.
The Aydins, who are relative newcomers to New Jersey, say they were energized into political activity by Donald Trump.
That in itself may not be the issue, but what may be problematic is their support for gubernatorial candidate Hirsh Singh, an unabashed Trump backer.
Jack Ciattarelli has been endorsed by county organizations throughout the state and Morris is no exception.
Running against incumbents is never easy, but with the primary less than a week away, the Aydins say they’re being treated unfairly.
“They have tried to silence us as political outsiders from day one,” the couple said in a Facebook post Wednesday night, referring to the county’s GOP organization.
It added that, “We have been excluded from local political events and removed from social media platforms run by MCRC affiliates.”
Not willing to let any attack go unanswered, Laura Ali, the Morris County Republican chair, quickly responded with a post of her own.
“You didn’t get booted off any pages because of any reason other than your comments were defamatory and insulting to other Republicans,” Ali said.
And then she got to what probably is the heart of the matter.
“You have been recruited by King Penna and Hirsh Singh and they are on a burn down the house mission,” she wrote.
As we said, Ciattarelli is the party’s choice, but the real “villain” here in the eyes of Ali is probably Penna, who used to be pretty active in Morris as a consultant. As we saw in last week’s video involving him and Melinda Ciattarelli, Penna’s style does not endear itself to everyone.
The Aydins’ missive also prompted a reply today from Ramirez and Casha, who stressed their long involvement in county politics.
As for the Aydins, the incumbents suggested they were “using the social media outlets to violate President Reagan’s 11th Commandment.”
Ah, the 11th Commandment pops up again.
It also has been an issue in the acrimonious LD-26, Assembly primary where one of the candidates, Tom Mastrangelo, has tried to invoke it.
But none of the other three candidates are listening.
Some observers have pointed out that Reagan’s admonition against Republicans speaking ill of other Republicans is not as high-minded as it seems. After all, it’s also a way for a Republican – like Reagan at the time – to stop party rivals from attacking him.
Some food for thought.