A Morris County Case of ‘Murphy-itis’ in the Grand Cafe

The cafe in Morris

MORRISTOWN – The Grand Cafe is perhaps the most elegant place in town, and for about an hour on this sparkling autumn day, it was the de-facto headquarters of the New Jersey Republican Party.

The restaurant was the scene of a luncheon fundraiser to jointly benefit the state Republican Committee and with election day a scant 13 days away, this year’s GOP Assembly campaign.

A number of attendees commented as they arrived.

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, who is in an admittedly tough reelection fight in District 21, said it can all come down to experience and name recognition.

“When you’ve been around as long as I have, people know who you are,” said Bramnick. And he hopes that means people know that he (Bramnick) is against increasing the size and cost of  government.

There are already 54 Democrats out of 80 in the lower house. So, why send any more, Bramnick asked in a brief conversation outside the restaurant. He said – or maybe he hoped – that voters already have “Murphy-itis.”

An overall Republican strategy is to make this election about Gov. Phil Murphy and views that Republicans insist are too left-wing for average New Jersey residents.

Also on hand was Assemblyman Jay Webber from the 26th District. Webber, of course, campaigned throughout North Jersey last year while running for Congress in the 11th District.  He stated the obvious in saying there is less interest this year, but that one thing is a constant – people are still angry about property taxes.

People in New Jersey probably have been angry about property taxes since before Webber, who is 47, was born.

But who are they going to blame? The mayor, the school board, the governor?

Unless they blame statewide Democrats, this anger is not going to help Assembly Republicans on Nov. 5.

Anthony M. Bucco, whose 25th District includes Morristown, was also on hand. This is an eventful week for Bucco, who is scheduled to be sworn-in to the state Senate on Thursday, replacing his late father. He is remaining on the Assembly ballot.

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