Republican county committee members in Morris County need more power.
That’s the candid assessment of Larry Casha, a GOP state committeeman from Kinnelon.
“I have come to realize that we, county committee members, need to be more empowered,” Casha says in a letter to the committee.
The best way to do that is for the Morris organization to institute a “county line” when a vote on the subject is taken on Jan 16.
Under that system, the county committee endorses primary candidates and awards them preferential ballot positions, thereby giving them an advantage.
This seemingly arcane issue is dividing Morris Republicans at a time when the county has become more politically competitive.
At least two social media sites – a web page and a Facebook page – have been created opposing the idea.
The web page, which is run by a group calling itself Concerned Morris Republicans, recently posted a link to primary ballots in all 50 states plus Washington D.C. to make the point that a “county line” gives those receiving it an unfair advantage. Yes, all 50 states and D.C. If nothing else, the research is impressive.
Opponents of a “line” say the current primary system in which no candidates are endorsed by the committee is the best way to do things, because it opens the nominating process to all.
Casha and other backers of the change say they’re wrong. Even if there is a change, potential candidates can appeal to the county committee for support. They point out that it would be the county committee that would endorse candidates in primaries by majority vote. This is different from the party chair or a small committee selecting the candidates.
There are two related premises here.
One is that the Morris GOP needs to ensure it runs its best possible candidates in the fall, because of growing Democratic competition.
The other is that county committee members are best equipped to make that choice.
Casha puts it this way, “I believe we as county committee members need to have a greater say in who represents our Republican Party in the November elections.”
Left unsaid is that this change would take that power away from primary voters; a point not lost on opponents to the idea.