Between a Rockaway and a Hard Place

When news surfaced a few weeks ago that two GOP council members from Rockaway Township were interested in meeting Democratic congressional candidate Mikie Sherrill, many local Republicans were not pleased.

One particularly aggrieved was Vincent La Iacona, a one-time candidate for the Morris County Republican Committee, and a self-proclaimed citizen activist for a “more transparent and affordable Rockaway Township.”

The early July diner meeting involving Sherrill, Republican councilman Mikael Puzio and local Democrats was observed by Tucker Kelley, another GOP councilman in town.

Talk about transparency.

Armed with that knowledge, La Iacona fired off a letter to Ron DeFilippis, the chair of the Morris County Republican Committee, with a copy to the chair of the Rockaway Township GOP Committee.

In short, La Iacona wants party leaders to take action against those Republicans in Rockaway Township who he said are betraying the GOP candidate for Congress, Jay Webber, “as well as the voters of the Republican Party.”

As of Thursday morning, La Iacona said he had yet to get a response from party leaders.

However, DeFilippis said the following in an email to

“We have set up a small committee to meet and address these types of issues at the local level.”

This type of thing doesn’t really jibe with the “unity breakfast” Morris Republicans just had.

But on the other hand, the genesis here may have more to do with an ongoing political split in Rockaway Township than anything else.

Mayor Michael Dachisen and Council President Jeremy Jedynak are in open warfare with a court ruling expected next month on the latest legal battle between the two.

This one centers on a move by the council to form a committee to investigate possible wrongdoing by the township attorney and former township administrator.

So, you have to wonder if the apparent dalliance by some township Republicans with Sherrill is being motivated not by ideology, but by the disdain two groups of Republicans have for each other.

Meanwhile, Morris County Republicans are on the move.

For years, if not decades, the county Republican committee has maintained a headquarters in the shadow of the county courthouse in Morristown. But now the headquarters is being moved to 51 Gibraltar Drive in Parsippany.

The committee says that the new “digs” will offer among other things, easy access off area highways, more space, more parking and the latest technology, including “flat screen monitors.”

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