Jeff Land, the longest-serving Republican county committeeman in Camden County, faced an upset loss in his bid for re-election as Cherry Hill GOP municipal chairman on Monday night.
Pnina Mintz defeated Land by one vote, 20-19, at the municipal reorganization meeting.
Land, a former deputy county register and Assembly staffer, had been backing Nicole Nance for Camden GOP chair. But Nance appears to have turned on Land after he allowed her to fill some county committee vacancies, and some Republicans say she recruited Mintz to take him on.
Nance denies that.
“I did not recruit Pnina,” she said. “I did not know she was running for chair.”
Crone has the backing of outgoing county chairman Richard Ambrosino. Jack Ciattarelli, the party’s 2021 gubernatorial nominee, endorsed him today.
Mintz and Nance are supporters of Patricia Kline, an independent candidate for Congress in New Jersey’s 1st district.
Nance hinted that if she is elected county chair, she will drop her personal endorsement of Kline and back the Republican nominee, former Collingswood school board member Claire Gustafson.
“When I’m elected chair, as I believe I will be tonight, I will abide by all county committee bylaws,” she told the New Jersey Globe. Party rules require leadership to back all nominees.
Land has lost re-election bids before. In 2000, retired police officer Joe Inverso, who had lost two races for township council, unseated him. He returned to the post in 2012.
This story was updated at 9:44 AM on June 21.