Opinion: Hillsborough Republicans are contradictory in rules about appointing candidates


The letter written by Ken Scherer, chairman of the Hillsborough Township Republican Organization (Hillsborough Democrats are disregarding voters’ wishes, Hillsborough Beacon, Feb. 19), https://centraljersey.com/2021/02/17/opinion-hillsborough-democrats-are-disregarding-voters-wishes/ is disrespectful to the tens of thousands of Hillsborough voters who cast their ballots for Donetta Johnson, David Brook and Jeffrey Wright.

Yes, there are winners and losers in elections, but that does not give one the right to make disparaging comments and false judgments about individuals of another party and by implication question the wisdom of those Hillsborough residents who did vote for them.

In stating that, by selecting these individuals, Hillsborough Democrats are showing “disrespect and contempt” for the voters – would not this same “logic” apply to Republican Jack Ciattarelli who lost an election in 2017 and is now running for governor? Is Mr. Ciattarelli and the party supporting him showing contempt and disrespect for the voters? He has, after all, been rejected by the voters.


In 2018, the Republicans accepted a resignation from committee member Greg Burchette near the end of his term. The Republicans went through the exact same exercise of providing three nominees. In that case, one of their nominees had lost a school board race a few years earlier, and one of them lost to both Olivia Holmes and Jeff Wright the following November. The one they selected to fill Mr. Burchette’s spot was the one who lost in the school board race, and is now mayor, Mr. Shawn Lipani. Were they showing contempt and disrespect for the voters of Hillsborough then? Are they doing it now?


The process defined by state statute that is in effect on a resignation involves the political party of the person who resigned nominating three potential incumbents, and the remaining members of the Township Committee selecting one of them. With a Democrat stepping down, this does not involve the Hillsborough Republican Party in any way, and their chair’s attempt to politicize this and cast doubt on the nominees is totally uncalled for.


I call upon the Republican members of the Township Committee to disavow your statements. They will be called upon to serve with one of these individuals. Does Mr. Scherer speak for them?

The Hillsborough Democrats have a thorough vetting and selection process. We are proud to have strong and talented individuals who are willing to stand up, more than once, to share their thoughts and ideas with the voters on how to make Hillsborough an even better place to live for everyone.


Bill Dondiego

Chair, Hillsborough Democratic Organization