Statement from Tim Wagner:
‘The process for a political party to nominate a candidate for mayor should be one in which candidates are fairly vetted and selected based on merits. Unfortunately the current Republican Party Chair used the nomination process to advance her own personal agenda on September 6, 2018.
This process should be as pure as possible, as the voters directly elect district representatives to form a committee tasked with selecting the best possible candidate in a given election cycle. Republican Chair Michele Dale rigged the process as party leader. Rather than consider public opinion with an open process, she ultimately used her position as Republican Chair to advance her higher political agenda.
First, Ms. Dale deliberately delayed the filing process past the September 4th deadline for residents to submit Independent candidacy petitions to minimize the possibility for potential candidates. Second, she told the committee that there would be no formal vetting and screening process for the nomination for the Republican candidate. She then nominated herself three hours before the deadline she herself set.
This comes after West Milford’s Republican voters rejected Ms. Dale as a council candidate twice – in 2016 and 2017. Apparently she thinks these two defeats make her the best choice to represent Republicans on the ballot for mayor.
We are blessed by the presence of people in town who are very well informed on town matters and politically savvy enough to understand Ms. Dale’s farce. They know that if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck.
In this case, if someone dumbs down the process to pick a candidate for the town’s highest office, then submits her own name at the eleventh hour, she is probably out for her own personal gain. The people in this town are not stupid, Ms. Dale, and not for a second do they see you as wanting to MOVE WEST MILFORD FORWARD. All they see is you wanting to move Michele Dale forward.
I am running for one reason alone and that is to move our great town of West Milford forward. No political agenda comes before the town I know and love, where I have invested time into raising my family and spent three years on the town council doing my part to make our town a better place.
Although I will not be running as the Republican Party’s nominee, the party that champions my values and beliefs, I care deeply about the number of communications I have received from town residents asking me to run for mayor.
After studying an Independent run in great depth, I have decided to seek the office of West Milford Mayor, without the support of Dale’s puppeted Republican soldiers.
I believe town comes before party—plain and simple. Over the next few weeks, I call upon residents to listen to the message of each candidate seeking the office of Mayor. I ask my fellow residents to vote for the candidate with the best message, not party affiliation and handpicked placement on the ballot.
Over the next two months as acting Mayor, I will be meeting with each town department’s leaders to improve efficiency and transparency. This will allow the Governing Body and Administration to better serve the residents of West Milford. This will happen no matter if my election result is win, lose, or draw – because West Milford’s future hangs in the balance.
Whether you are a Democrat, Republican, unaffiliated, or anything in between we are all residents of West Milford and I, Tim Wagner, am the candidate that will MOVE WEST MILFORD FORWARD. I humbly ask for your support on November 6th by voting Wagner for Mayor and setting a new direction for West Milford.’
Acting Mayor & Council President
West Milford Township