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Essex County Republican Chairman Al Barlas.

Essex GOP bans NDAs for county, local candidates

Candidates facing toxic work environment claims will be refused party backing

By David Wildstein, February 05 2020 9:00 am

Essex County Republicans voted on Tuesday to adopt two “common sense policies” that will deny party support to county and municipal candidates who force staff, vendors and volunteers to sign non-disclosure agreements that limit victims of toxic environment issues.

“We have long believed in supporting candidates who reflect the diversity of our county and share the values of our party and the community they seek to represent,” said Al Barlas, the Essex GOP chairman. “Anyone incapable of adhering to these basic principles can, should and will not have our County Party’s support.”

The idea of refusing party support – which could include blocking access to a Republican voter database or use of a heavily discounted bulk rate mail permit – was first proposed by Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt last month.

Essex is the first party organization to formally adopt the policy, although a couple of county chairs have indicated their support for Steinhardt’s proposal.

Steinhardt has pledged that the state party would deny support to any campaigns that use NDAs.

Barlas said that any candidate for county or municipal office facing claims of workplace harassment will not be eligible for support from the Essex GOP.

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