Morris County Republicans are mulling an end to open primaries and establishing an organization line for legislative, county and local races in 2019.
Sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that Ronald DeFilippis, the new county chairman, spoke openly about the possibility of an organization line at a recent Roxbury Republican Club meeting, and has been touting his line proposal to key party officials in meetings.
Morris has eschewed lines in the past, with generations of party leaders boasting of their open process, at times criticizing other counties that award a line.
There has been some talk about the process of establishing a line, which would require a change to the party bylaws. That could range from an open convention to empowering DeFilippis to simply put candidates on the line at his own discretion.
During the recent race for county chairman, DeFilippis opposed organization lines and suggested that his opponent, Rob Zwigard, supported them. Zwigard did not, but misrepresentations of his position — which were included in his convention speech — might have contributed to DeFillipis’ four-vote win. DeFilippis allies Dick Kamina and Guy Gregg, both former Assemblymen, preached the no-line message on the campaign trail.
Morris County will have open races for at least one State Assembly seat in 2019 — Michael Patrick Carroll is not seeking re-election in the 25th district and Surrogate John Peccorarro has already announced he would not seek re-election.
If Jay Webber wins his race for Congress, Republicans will have a contest to replace him in the State Assembly.