Is the GOP in NJ stagnant?
Below is a message from Hoboken resident and candidate for NJ Republican State Committee Joshua Sotomayor-Einstein.
The GOP in NJ is stagnant
For years, we have had a Republican governor with little to no growth in the state legislature and a county party system in retreat. There are some good signs for the future of the state GOP – Bergen County, the most populous county has new leadership and the Democrats look to be nominating Corzine part 2 as their gubernatorial nominee. But in the main, with a registration gap of hundreds of thousands and under-supported party organs in urban areas, the party in NJ is in trouble.
With the GOP wins across the federal government, including the White House and majorities in the House and Senate, and with a majority of state legislatures and governorship’s, the NJ GOP should be riding the national Republican wave. No doubt, an area as entrenched in the big government perversion as NJ is understandably behind much of the country. We see this in NJ’s higher taxes, job loss to other states, and the movement of our fellow citizens to other states. The question is why do tax-and-regulation loving Democrats do so well here?
It may be the politics of divide and conquer the left plays all too well that powers their majorities in the state legislature, but it also relates to the failure of the NJ GOP to do meaningful and substantive outreach, to spend political capital strategically, and to build relationships in areas and communities that lack a track record of voting Republican. It is true that the state GOP, and specifically the Governor, have built relationships with old-school machine-Democrats such as those that rule much of Hudson County, but we must ask – what, other than a smattering of votes that merely slowed the speed of our states spending and a gelded Hudson County Republican Party, have we gotten for that?
The GOP is growing elsewhere because our out of the box ideas on returning people their basic freedoms and funds has mass appeal. From Bobby Jindal to Ted Cruz, Tim Scott to Susana Martinez, and many more, we are the party of ideas and leadership taking on the progressive tax and spend system. We are the big tent party. But in NJ, who other than fellow Republicans, are aware? In the counties that the state GOP has allied with machine Democrats to deliver a handful of votes, do local GOP candidates benefit? No. Do the county organizations in these areas “grow the farm team” by supporting Republican candidates for School Board and City Council? No, rather they pretend that non-partisan local elections means they must ally with a Democrat faction and are precluded from supporting any Republicans.
This is why our party is stagnant – we are constantly on a defensive footing. We must go on offense – both in terms of width (engaging many communities and locales) and depth (exposing people to the intellectual tradition that is conservatism). The state GOP must lead the way and facilitate activist and candidate training sessions for the grassroots in purple and blue districts, require the county organizations in areas that have no Republicans in their county government to invest in running candidates for School Board and Town Council, and engage millennials, minority communities, legal immigrants, and women. Only when the State GOP Committee is leading the party towards an activist, conservative, and broad spectrum offense that empowers the grassroots and outreaches to different demographic groups will the NJ Republican party grow.
About Joshua Sotomayor-Einstein
Joshua Sotomayor-Einstein is running for New Jersey Republican State Committee. Elections are concurrent with the gubernatorial primary election in June. Mr. Sotomayor-Einstein is Chairman of the Hudson County Young Republicans, member of the Hudson County Regional Council of the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, former contributor to SaveJersey.com, current columnist at The Jewish Standard, and has formally debated Occupy Wall Street activists and Democrats. He has lived in Hoboken for a decade.
411 Note: I asked Josh about the whole two-party political system, and why we felt that alone is a major part of the problem. He indicated that no party should “stay in power” too long, as they become corrupted. But it didn’t seem to address my concerns about the political parties in general. Whatever.