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Mayor & Entire Council Switch From Democrat to Republican


The East Hanover, New Jersey mayor and the entire township council switched from Democrat to Republican.

East Hanover Township has a population of 11,105 and four members on its township council.

In addition to Mayor Joseph Pannullo, Council President Frank DeMaio, Jr, Councilwoman Carolyn Jandoli, and Councilmen Brian Brokaw, Sr. and Michael Martorelli switched 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,” said Pannullo.

“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,” he added.

New Jersey Globe had the scoop:

Morris County GOP Chair Laura Marie Ali credited Hanover Mayor Ace Gallagher for convincing the East Hanover officials to switch parties.

“The entire Republican Party in Morris County is welcoming Mayor Pannullo and East Hanover’s four Council members to our family with open arms and great excitement,” Ali said.  “East Hanover is an exceptionally run town with great leadership.  It is clear we share the same values as Mayor Pannullo and his Council and we are so excited to have them be part of our Republican family.”

The East Hanover Republican muncipal chair, former Councilwoman Sue Tietjen, also welcomed the new Republican officholders.

“We will work together moving East Hanover forward,” she said.

Assistant Senate Minority Leader Joseph Pennacchio (R-Montville), whose new legislative district will include East Hanover, saluted Ali for her role in the five-seat flip and said he is looking forward to working with Team Pannullo.

“Whether you are a lifelong Republican or a transplanted Democrat such as me, you are immediately welcomed and accepted without hesitation,” said Pennacchio.  “I look forward to working with my new Republican friends to make East Hanover an even better place to live.”

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Senate Minority Whip Anthony M. Bucco (R-Boonton), who has the votes to lead the Senate GOP caucus next year, called the switch of Pannullo and the councilmembers  “a major win for the Republican Party and shows how out of touch and extreme the Democrat party has become.”

Daily Record added:

In recent years, the ranks of elected municipal Democrats have increased in traditionally Republican-leaning Morris County, although the GOP still holds a 20,115-person advantage in voter registration (136,399 Republicans to 119,284 Democrats, along with 141,209 unaffiliated voters.)

Still, Democratic candidates have had success in Morris Township, Mendham Township and Boonton, among other towns. On Tuesday, a Mendham Township Republican dropped a lawsuit challenging last November’s election results, allowing Democrats to take a second seat on the governing committee of the former Republican stronghold.

“Of course, I am disappointed,” Morris County’s Democratic chairwoman, Amalia Duarte, said in an emailed statement. “But, the real story is that Morris County is rapidly trending more Democratic, as we saw in the last election cycle. We won new municipal seats, flipped Morris Township to entirely Democratic and all of our incumbents were re-elected, including in East Hanover.”

Donald Trump won big in East Hanover in 2020, capturing 66% of the vote, according to state records. Last year, Republican Paul DeGroot carried the township with 68% in his unsuccessful bid to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill in the 11th Congressional District. Sherrill won with 57% of the overall district, including 53% in Morris County.


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