Middlesex Mayhem: Primary Ballot Scrap Plays out Against Haney-Panos Fight


In a GOP contest defined by early antagonisms, including a court challenge to how Republicans appear on the ballot, former Old Bridge Mayor Art Haney, chair of the Old Bridge Republican Committee, wants Middlesex County GOP Chair Lucile Panos to resign.

Panos fiercely backs the man whom Haney opposes: state Senator Sam Thompson (R-12), pictured above.

“I find it very sad that the chairwoman of the Middlesex County Republican Organization is trying to blame me for her decision to abandon the Middlesex County Republican Organization and create a competing line in the primary: ‘Middlesex County Republicans for Kim’ against the Middlesex County Republican Organization and also run on that line herself for council,” wrote Haney to Old Bridge Republicans.

The senate candidate charged that Panos is trying to undermine the very organization she runs by running off the line for a council seat in Old Bridge.

“It is time for Panos to resign,” Haney wrote.

But that’s not the only ballot issue for the GOP here.

Aligned on the primary ballot in Middlesex, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-16) – a Republican candidate for governor – and Haney are taking the Middlesex County Clerk to court today over what they argue is the unjust decision by the clerk to double up gubernatorial candidates on the ballot.

Democrats occupy six columns on the ballot and Republicans are restricted to three, with Ciattarelli and Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno occupying space under their rivals. Ciattarelli wants to break that up.

As for the Haney challenge, when InsiderNJ at Thursday’s Senate Budget Committee hearing asked Thompson about his primary, the senator grinned and said, “I’m not too concerned about that.”


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