I never thought I’d see this headline in the Courier Post:
Camden County GOP in mix for House
As things shape up for a packed primary, everyone is jockeying to show their influence and now the Camden County Republicans are feeling their oats:
The truce between Ocean County chairman George Gilmore and Burlington County chairman William Layton seemed headed south in December, when Layton reiterated his support for NFL player Jon Runyan’s candidacy. But the three chairmen, along with state party head Jay Webber, sat down shortly before the New Year in an attempt to calm the storm.
The plan, Camden County chairman Rick DeMichele said in an interview on Wednesday, involves Camden County Republicans holding off on an endorsement until the Ocean and Burlington parties name their pick.
“I discussed with them my desire to be the last county party to endorse,” DeMichele said. “If they can’t come to a consensus, then wherever Camden goes gives that candidate a clear advantage.”
So his 15% will decide he says, while 42% of the district is in Burlington County and 43% in Ocean. And about that double secret meeting:
None of the chairmen would divulge details of what was said in their meeting, however. Asked if his organization would switch its endorsement if Camden and Burlington went the other way, Gilmore would not commit.
“We’ll cross all those bridges when we come to them,” he said.
Oh boy do I hope they cross that bridge. This is starting to be some real fun. Camden County has never felt the power to really play and even if they don’t have it, I’m enjoying them trying to flex their muscles. If the party chair power struggle wasn’t enough, enter new candidate to the field Joe Rullo:
While Runyan and the party chairs grab local headlines, one prospective candidate is sitting in frustration. Joseph R. Rullo isn’t persuaded by assurances that all potential challengers will get a fair hearing. He’s already up with a campaign Web site — rullo4congress2010.com — and has announced a Feb. 18 fundraiser.
“He’s counted me out,” said Rullo, a 40-year-old solar energy consultant. “It hurt my feelings.”
Hurt feelings? Uh ok. This is politics and bare knuckle with who he’s playing. He needs to get a thicker skin if he’s upset that they don’t want him to take their power. Layton for his part could care less what anyone else says. He’s had enough Runyan Kool Aid to last the cycle:
“The excitement is overwhelming, quite frankly,” Layton said, describing voter reaction to Runyan’s candidacy.
Layton is like one of those pull string dolls. Pull string… Jon Runyan is the greatest. Pull string… Jon Runyan is exciting. Pull string… Everyone loves Jon Runyan.
My guess, George Gilmore is not amused and that must’ve been a fun meeting in December when they all sat down to make public peace in private.