20.7.06

The Lowe-down on Passaic County

Tonight, the County Committee of the Passaic County Republican Party will endorse Erik Lowe as a candidate for the office of Freeholder, standing beside Jonathan Soto and Ken Del Vecchio in the November election, up against incumbent Democrats James Gallagher, Sonia Rosado, and newly-appointed Tahesha Way.

Lowe, a friend of mine, takes the place of former County Clerk Ronni Nochimson, who was chosen by the Executive Committee under the previous regime before Scott Rumana ascended to the Chairmanship. Lowe had "screened" (presented his credentials) before the former County Committee in the Spring, but was not chosen.

Lowe, a 38-year-old bank manager and father who lives in the multi-ethnic 6th Ward of Paterson, ran unsuccessfully on 3 past occasions for the Paterson School Board. Lowe's candidacy will be important as an outreach to the black community, a prominent demographic in Passaic County that has traditionally been the hardest nut for the Republican Party to crack.

I look forward to supporting him enthusiastically.

8 comments:

Jayme Alfano said...

I am very disappointed to say the least. Not in Mr. Lowe, but in the process. It is no different than it was under past leadership. How did dems and you George know about Eric? I, a councilwoman, vice chair for the local party and county committee knew nothing, and I have still not been contacted by the new chairman, who I always support. Those who don't think this is politics as usual are dillusional.

George Ajjan said...

Hi Jaym,

I understand the sense of irony that you feel. I myself heard the news yesterday afternoon by email from a Rumana detractor, and then in a phone call from a Democrat operative!

I then called one of the GOP municipal leaders who said that the Executive Committee on Tuesday night basically reached consensus that Erik Lowe would be the candidate presented on Thursday. That's when I posted this, yesterday afternoon.

Only this morning did I speak to a friend who is on the County Committee (I am not) who confirmed that the meeting last night went smoothly and that Erik spoke well and impressed many.

In fairness to Chairman Rumana, he took over in the middle of an election cycle which put the party in a bit of disarray, so the processes in this first year will not be perfect, especially considering that the leading candidate chose to withdraw from the race.

However, I have been very vocal about the importance of having a County Convention to nominate next year's candidates for Freeholder, and for State Assembly and State Senate. It should be done just as it is in Bergen County and elsewhere - candidates present their credentials and the County Committee goes into voting machines to appoint the "line" by secret ballot.

So next year will be the true chance to demonstrate that we are moving away from "politics as usual", when Scott will be in control of the Party from the start to finish of the election cycle.

Anonymous said...

I think Erik Lowe will be an excellent addition to the GOP ticket for November.

Anonymous said...

I too am disappointed that you posted this before the County Committee met. As a Republican Party Worker for 35+ years I was hoping for a change and since you were very involved in the change you could have helped alittle by waiting to post the annoucement a little later I like Scott alot and had hoped that things would be different Good Luck to Mr. Lowe and I look forward to meeting him and working for Victory in November

George Ajjan said...

Dear anonymous #2,

Once something is leaked, it's out there, I really had no choice considering that a Democratic operative was calling me telling me that the other side was already retooling their strategy now that they knew who the candidate was.

I suspect that this process could have been handled better, and judging by things I heard at lunch in Wayne today from other County Committee members who are close to Scott, there is some criticism of the process from others as well.

However, I think it's important to point out that everyone is still pleased in the end with the selection of Erik Lowe, and we are levying our minor criticisms in a constructive way, in order to help the party. This is how a small-d democratic organization works, and of course Chairman Rumana, like any elected official, needs to be held accountable to us, the Republican base.

I have confidence that he is willing to listen to well-intentioned feedback, even if it is critical of him, in order to improve the party.

WATCHDOG said...

DID YOU GUYS REALLY SCREEN ERIC LOWE????
YES, HE IS WELL SPOKEN.. BUT ISN'T IT OBVIOUS THAT HE WILL NOT HELP YOU ATTAIN THE BLACK VOTE,HE ALWAYS RUNS UNSUCCESFULLY.. HE IS NOT THAT POPULAR IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY, BOY DO I KNOW...
PLUS...
DID YOU GUYS CHECK INTO HIS PREVIOUS CHILD SUPPPORT LEGAL BATTLES? JUST HEADS UP ON WHAT THE DEMOCRATS WILL USE IN THEIR UPCOMING CAMPAIGN

George Ajjan said...

watchdog,

I am not on the County Committee that screened Erik Lowe or selected him, so I can't really answer that. But thanks for your input. The elected GOP leaders should be reading this.

As for the black community and Erik's standing, I still think it is a good move and with Betty Brown as municipal chairwoman and Chauncey Brown III on the County Committee well and taking a leadership role (he and Erik are good friends), plus Pat Kramer's contacts, the GOP can begin to make inroads into the black community that has been woefully neglected by Republicans in the past.

Anonymous said...

Now what? All three freeholder candidates abandoned ship. Who is next? Better question...Who is left? Great leadership, especially in keeping people bonded for the common good? Maybe it's the new leadership?