County Convention - it's about time

In his post-election victory op-ed piece entitled "Uniting Elephants", new Passaic County Republican Chairman Scott Rumana outlined a number of key steps critical for success, not the least of which was the establishment of a nominating convention for candidate selection.

This past Sunday, the Herald News also published a follow-up letter from Jesse Starrick of West Paterson (someone to watch in the future as a key player in the Passaic County GOP). Starrick adds:
It is refreshing to see the GOP will once again be willing to listen and to input ideas from all who are involved at the grassroots level, and committed to seeing the demise of one party rule in Passaic County. It was also encouraging to hear that Rumana supports examining the party bylaws and revising them where necessary, so that superfluous court battles can be avoided in the future.

Opening up the candidate selection process by establishing a county convention demonstrates that the Passaic County GOP will be the party of inclusion.
Neighboring counties like Bergen hold a convention through which the elected members of the County Committee select by a secret vote the Party's preferred nominees in the Primary. This is a healthy part of intra-party democracy, because it forces the candidates to court the support of grassroots leaders on the County Committee to gain the Party's nomination, and the ever-crucial "line" on the Primary ballot. Under the current process, the candidates are given an up-or-down vote in open committee with only the 16 GOP Municipal leaders and a few others having a say. I talked about this issue in my own op-ed last November.

Furthermore, this process will set the Republicans a step above the Passaic County Democrats. There is a disturbing lack of "democracy" in the "Democratic" party locally, most recently indicated by their attorney Albert Buglione, who tried to argue to Judge Passero that only the County Chairman John Currie endorses candidates. After some resistance from the Judge, Buglione withdrew that line of reasoning.

But in any case, there are no indications that the Passaic County Democrats have any interest in empowering their own grassroots. They are in power simply because the Republicans have been inept. That is about to change in a big way.