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State Sen. Dawn Addiego, center, with Assemblymen Ryan Peters, left, and Joe Howarth

Bargar resigns from screening committee

By Nikita Biryukov, February 22 2019 5:11 pm

Pemberton Republican Municipal Chairwoman Abigail Bargar has resigned from the eighth legislative district’s screening committee over concerns about the committee’s makeup on Friday.

“As you may be unaware, Burlington County residents only, and not those that reside outside of Burlington County have historically always awarded the Burlington County ‘line,’” Bargar said in a letter to Burlington County Republican Chairman Sean Earlen. The actions being taken by you, and Vice-Chairwoman Linda Hughes are troubling as you continue to not listen to the clear majority of municipal chairs from the Burlington County portion of LD-8.”

Bargar said Burlington GOP executive director Jesse Estlow told her that two of the committee’s five members were from Burlington County, while two were from Atlantic County and one was from Camden County.

She had threatened to resign over the makeup and format of the screening Committee on Thursday.

To echo Former Chairman [Bill] Layton’s comments from the other evening’s Municipal Chair’s Meeting, that Burlington must stick together,” Bargar said. “It is disturbing that the majority of the screening committee resides outside of our county. In my opinion, this is a gross abdication of your responsibilities to the Burlington County Republican Committee.”

Bargar was among the 11 Burlington County municipal chairs to sign a letter asking Earlen to back Assemblyman Joe Howarth (R-Evesham) for reelection.

Earlen dropped his support for Howarth because he believes the assemblyman attempted to switch parties along with State Sen. Dawn Addiego (D-Evesham).

Hainesport Municipal Chair Lee Schneider said that most of the district’s Burlington municipal chairs had rallied around Earlen following a meeting they had Tuesday night, though she noted Bargar as an exception.

The screening committee was set to meet this Saturday to pick a running mate for Assemblyman Ryan Peters (R-Lumberton).

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