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Nicole Nance. (Photo: Nicole Nance).

Crone, Nance face off to become next Camden GOP chair

Ciattarelli backs Crone; Nance faces criticism for support of independent House candidate, refusal to back Mehta

By David Wildstein, June 20 2022 4:22 pm

Republican standard bearer Jack Ciattarelli is taking sides in tomorrow night’s election for Camden County Republican Chair, endorsing Tom Crone to replace Richard Ambrosino, who is stepping down after five years.

Crone faces Nicole Nance, who lost races for Camden County freeholder in 2020 and Cherry Hill township council in 2021.

Nance’s bid for county chair has been complicated by her refusal to back some Republican candidates in the past and griping from past running mates that she ran a separate campaign and didn’t put their names on her lawn signs.

In 2020, she declined to endorse Rik Mehta against the Democratic incumbent, Cory Booker.

“As a Christian minister, I have the Judeo Christian values that our country was built upon,” Nance wrote in an email to the GOP surrogate candidate, Kimberley Stuart.  “Rik is a Ahimsa Hindu. The fundamental ideologies of Hinduism are based in NON Judeo-Christian American values — an improper view and value of life, women and animals.”

Mehta, the only non-white candidate to win a Republican statewide primary in New Jersey,  questioned the validity of Nash’s candidacy.

“The Republican party has to be a big tent which allows everyone, regardless of race, creed or national origin,” said Mehta.  “ I prefer people who don’t hold biased or discriminatory views.”

Nance has also endorsed an independent candidate for Congress in New Jersey’s 1st district, Patricia Kline, over the Republican nominee, former Collingswood school board member Claire Gustafson.

An online meeting organized by Nance to discuss her candidacy with GOP party officials used the Zoom account of Kline, a former GOP Assembly candidate.

Ambrosino has endorsed Crone, a political operative who spent four years as executive director of the county party organization, as his successor.

Crone spent the last several months managing Ian Smith’s campaign for the Republican nomination for Congress in the 3rd district.  Smith lost the primary and announced today that he has joined the Libertarian Party.

“Camden County Republican Chairman Rich Ambrosino did a fantastic job growing the county organization and winning elections at the local level in places like Clementon and Winslow and Tom Crone was by his side through it all,” Ciattarelli said. “Together they were able to build Republican organizations where none existed, like Gloucester City, Barrington and Bellmawr and they’ve increased Republican registration over the years.  Tom Crone will provide a seamless transition in leadership and he has earned the right to finish what he started with Ambrosino.”

Crone has also won endorsements from Hudson County GOP Chairman Jose Arango, a former assemblyman and the chairman of the Republican county chairs, as well as Gloucester County Republican Chair Jacci Vigilante.

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