Middlesex Republicans Eye Pallone – If They Can Get Through One Another First


Political disputes sometimes come down to simple arithmetic.

Which brings us to Middlesex County and CD-6, where Democrat Frank Pallone has held forth for about 30 years.

Bolstered by a belief Democrats are in trouble this year, Republicans are eying the midterm election with confidence. CD-6 spans Monmouth and Middlesex counties.

The establishment choice is Sue Kiley, a Monmouth County commissioner.

Also in the race is Rik Mehta, who earned some recognition in 2020 as the GOP candidate against Cory Booker.

Our focal point here is this week’s screening committee meeting of the Middlesex Republican Committee. That is in advance of the March 19 county convention.

As the name suggests, the screening committee examines candidates and if one gets support from at least two-thirds of those voting, that candidate is recommended for endorsement to the full convention.

According to Mehta, the screening committee vote was 24 votes for Kiley and 12 votes for him. No other candidate got any votes.

That makes it seem pretty cut and dry. If Kiley got 24 out of 36, that’s two-thirds of the vote, enough to get her recommended to the full convention.

But wait a minute.

Mehta says only 32 people were permitted to vote, according to party bylaws. The screening committee basically includes municipal representatives, officials with the county organization and other insiders.

If only 32 people voted, Mehta says Kiley would not have gotten 24 votes and by extension, the two-thirds needed for a recommendation. He said two of the votes he is disputing came from people who were allowed to vote again – a do-over if you will – after they perhaps mistakenly marked their ballots for “commissioner” instead of “Congress.”

Mehta is not the only one unhappy. He says a handful of GOP municipal chairs agree with him.

One of whom is Sharon D. Hubberman of Perth Amboy.

In a letter to county GOP leaders, she gets to the gist of the matter.

Hubberman asserts that Republicans have been hurt by lack of “election integrity,” which makes it critical for them to keep their own house in order.

“Accountability and transparency reinforces our merits and efforts to uphold the principles of fairness,” she wrote.

She and some other chairs joined Mehta in calling for further investigation into what she calls an “irregularity.”

The dustup in Middlesex follows voting problems at last week’s Morris GOP convention. One losing candidate petitioned for another convention to no avail.

Republicans all over the land are talking about election integrity, which has to make these problems especially galling.

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3 responses to “Middlesex Republicans Eye Pallone – If They Can Get Through One Another First”

  1. Sore loser? Both camps were allowed to have someone oversee the vote count which wasn’t rushed at all!

  2. A review of the process should be done as several GOP Chairs had questions about the vote as well as screeners from both candidate camps had questions.

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