The Possibilities of Selen v. DeGroot II

MOUNTAIN LAKES – Friends say Tayfun Selen doesn’t normally get mad at people and is not the type to hold a grudge.

A prime example occurred last June when Selen lost a primary fight for the Republican nomination in CD-11. Having secured the endorsement of the Morris County organization, Selen was the favorite.

But when things went awry, Selen was the first to congratulate the winner, Paul DeGroot.

That story was presented during a Selen campaign kickoff/fundraiser Thursday night.

This time around Selen is seeking reelection to the Morris County board of commissioners.

And once again, he may be facing DeGroot, setting up a dual challenge of sorts – Selen has another chance to beat DeGroot and if things go bad again, another chance to be a gracious loser.

The race for commissioner is not officially set yet. Only one seat on the seven-member board is up this year.

DeGroot, of Montville, is expected to run, but he has yet to make that definite.

In the race already is Anthony Somma of Randolph who in a recent release, suggested Selen was too friendly – that is, to Democrats and Democratic ideas.
Selen would be expected to get the “party line,” at the March 4 Morris GOP convention. He already has secured scores of endorsements from party leaders all over the county.

Still, there are no guarantees.

One thing that helped DeGroot get the congressional nod last year was a big win in the Passaic County part of the congressional district; he grew up in Clifton and was an assistant Passaic County prosecutor. However, only Morris matters in the commissioner’s race.

Selen, who is a former mayor of Chatham Township, speaks often about his background. He arrived from Turkey 26 years ago with little money and not speaking English. Now, he’s a successful businessman and elected official.

Selen offers this “only in America” story with pride and sincerity. Thursday night, he talked about his awe at arriving in the United States, going to a diner and being served an enormous plate of food. He also told supporters gathered in a local catering hall that Morris is the premier county in the state, which is something one hears often at these affairs.

Such musings aside, Selen was asked about the looming contested primary.

“I’m going to work harder than anyone,” he said.

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2 responses to “The Possibilities of Selen v. DeGroot II”

  1. All this matters little. The Republican party is essentially dead in NJ. Democrats are out of control liberal, Republicans are more liberal than ever before.

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