The mayor of East Hanover, New Jersey, and the entire town council are all switching to the Republican Party “to best represent their constituents,” according to the New Jersey Globe. It’s a sign of hope for Republicans at the state level, where ordinary voters have more power. It’s particularly inspiring not only because Democrats have weaponized the FBI and Justice Department against political opponents but also because New Jersey Republicans were just murdered.
The New Jersey Globe said East Hanover Mayor Joseph Pannullo and the four members of the town council–Council President Frank DeMaio, Jr, Councilman Michael Martorelli, Councilman Brian Brokaw, Sr., and Councilwoman Carolyn Jandoli–are becoming Republicans. Morris County GOP Chair Laura Marie Ali said that Hanover Mayor Ace Gallagher convinced his fellow local officials to flip parties.
”Municipal leaders have a responsibility to best represent their constituents, and it is our belief this change of party is in the best interest of the community,” Pannullo explained. “As the nastiness, rhetoric, and social media vitriol of national politics continues to infiltrate local governance, we collectively determined this was the best course of action to keep the focus on local issues impacting our community – combating the overburdening and unrealistic fair-share housing mandates, keeping taxes stable, enhancing our parks and investing in public safety needs to be our local priorities. Every decision my administration makes is about putting East Hanover first; this is no different.”
Republican voters frustrated after the 2022 elections might learn this lesson from East Hanover: Sometimes local officials care more what constituents think than national politicians. And the Founding Fathers would have heartily approved of a change starting at the local level and moving up.
Americans are often unaware of who their local representatives even are. Perhaps Republicans should become more involved on the local level and more frequently express their opinions to their local representatives. It never hurts to try.
Furthermore, East Hanover officials are not intimidated by the aggressive political attacks of Democrats, including the current administration, against Republicans. The FBI raided Donald Trump and dozens of his allies and targeted and harassed concerned parents who spoke up at school board meetings. And eleven pro-life activists who were charged last year by the DOJ all potentially facing jail time or large fines, not to mention the pro-life activist and father just cleared of federal charges. In some ways, it’s a risky time to be publicly against the Democrat mainstream.
New Jersey could certainly use some hopeful news though. I already reported on Republican Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour‘s tragic murder. PJ Media’s Lincoln Brown wrote on February 9:
”One week after Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour of Sayreville, N.J. was fatally shot outside of her home, another Republican council member in New Jersey has been gunned down. On Wednesday morning, the body of Russell Heller, 51, was found in the parking lot of Public Service Electric and Gas (PSE&G) in Somerset, N.J. Heller was an employee of the company. The New York Post reports that Heller had served as a councilman for Milford, N.J., a borough in Hunterdon County, since 2020.”
The suspect, 58-year-old Gary Curtis, was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. There is no known motive, but Heller seems to have been the intended target (just like with Dwumfour) and police have said there is no evidence to connect the two tragic murders.
But both murdered Republicans were praised as excellent public servants. Like them, the East Hanover mayor and town council seem dedicated to their constituents’ best interests. Heller and Dwumfour served the state they loved, and that legacy of public service will hopefully continue elsewhere in New Jersey with the East Hanover officials.