LD26 Flashpoint: DeCroce Returns Fire


BettyLou DeCroce is fighting back.

A few days after an anonymous letter to Morris County Republicans accused her of being (perish the thought) a RINO, the assemblywoman from LD-26 is responding in kind.

In a letter of her own, and one that she signed, DeCroce refers to what she calls a cowardly attack that was “full of political smears.”

She adds, “For too long, we have put up with nonsense like this in our Party.”

It is true that Morris Republicans certainly have a history of beating each other up. That was the key reason why the GOP county committee just a few weeks ago adopted a “county line.”

The stated reason for that break from tradition was to eliminate divisive primaries. Fine and well. But what we may be seeing already is that Morris Republicans don’t need primaries to be divisive.

The unsigned letter attacking DeCroce circulated last weekend. Among other things, it accused the assemblywoman from Parsippany of not caring about her hometown and of supporting increasing the state’s gas tax and other non-Republican ideas.

Just for the record, the gas tax increase happened on Chris Christie’s watch.

To combat the dreaded RINO accusation, DeCroce stresses in her letter her strong opposition to just about everything Phil Murphy has done.

Saying that the governor and his Democratic pals have been a disaster for the state, DeCroce says that she has “stood up to Phil  Murphy” and voted against billions of tax increases and bloated budgets.

That’s not all.

DeCroce also criticizes the governor for contributing to COVID deaths in nursing homes, a “power grab” of emergency mandates and botching the vaccine roll-out.

The overview here is that DeCroce seemingly will be in a contested primary to keep her seat.

Besides herself and fellow incumbent Jay Webber, Christian Barranco also says he wants to go to the Assembly.

Democrats have made inroads in Morris, but District 26, which also includes small parts of Essex and Passaic counties, still seems solidly Republican.

Barranco has said he knows nothing about the origins of the letter attacking DeCroce.

Webber, who jointly filed nominating petitions with DeCroce, hasn’t returned a phone call.

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