The Democrats have taken over New Jersey and Governor Phil Murphy is “damn proud of it”. Although New Jersey Senator Cory Booker credited Murphy for it, the Governor had some help in the form of an out-of-touch Republican party that has ignored its base for years when it comes to state and federal elections.
Also helping Murphy and the Democrats this year at the Jersey Shore is that the county parties and the New Jersey GOP have experienced a fundamental breakdown and critical failure. The New Jersey GOP is at a breaking point. Instead of fighting Democrats, the party is working overtime with political infighting as the GOP political survivors fight over the scraps either tossed to them by Democrats or in areas the Democrat party has yet to conquer. The party is also fighting over its identity. It can’t figure out if they are the party of Trump or the party of Lincoln. In Ocean County, the party is split between dueling chairman as former GOP chairman George Gilmore battles current Chairman Frank Holman in open street warfare. Each chairman, backing different candidates in a county where the Republican line now means absolutely nothing. It’s all about which chairman flag you’re flying.
Another one of those GOP civil war zones is Monmouth County. It’s ripe for the picking and Murphy and Democrats know it.
Monmouth and Ocean County Republicans used to be two of the strongest GOP strongholds in the state. Now, both GOP organizations are fighting fiercely amongst themselves, taking their eye off the blue wave that is coming at them this November. Chairman Golden faced massive defeats after taking the job, but last election cycle he started controlling the bleeding. This year, with the fractures within the party, it’s unsure if Golden can continue holding it together.
Several prominent women in the Monmouth GOP have also been sacrificed by Republican County Chairman Shawn Golden, including former Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and Assemblywoman Serena DiMasso. Both were politically executed by Golden’s men’s club this year.
“This is personal for me,” Murphy told Monmouth County Democrats at the annual Monmouth Democrat Chairman’s Ball. “Monmouth County is on the cusp. You know it and I know it. This is personal for me.”
Murphy congratulated the war heroes who have flipped counties such as Somerset, Bergen, and Passaic. Those once-former Republican strongholds are now firmly controlled by Democrats.
“Monmouth County is next up to bat,” Murphy said to a thunderous roar of applause. “Think back to almost four years ago and I’m not patting myself on the back, but New Jersey was a state that was on lists that we didn’t want to be on. The lowest this. The weakest that. There’s only one state in America like New Jersey, but for far too long we underachieved.”
Murphy blamed Republicans for letting New Jersey down, despite Democrats having full control of both the State Assembly and the State Senate.
“I’m here to tell you those days are over,” Murphy said. “We have turned the page to a new era. Even in the midst of this pandemic, it is sunrise in New Jersey.”
Murphy touted tax fairness, higher minimum wage, expanded pre-k, affordable community college and expanded child and healthcare services.