Home>Campaigns>Morris GOP unimpressed by election of first Democratic women county chair, 45 years after they did it

Eileen Carey McCoy, a former Morris County GOP Chair and freeholder. (Photo: County of Morris).

Morris GOP unimpressed by election of first Democratic women county chair, 45 years after they did it

Ali makes pitch for women to join GOP

By David Wildstein, May 10 2022 9:38 am

Morris County Republicans are not entirely impressed by local Democrats breaking the class ceiling to elect Amalia Duarte as their first woman county chair on Monday night,

“It is great to see the local Democrat committee finally catch up to our Republican one forty-five years after Republicans elected our first Chairwoman back in 1977,” said the GOP county chair, Laura Marie Ali.

Ali is the sixth woman to serve as county chair since Eileen Carey McCoy, a freeholder, defeated another woman, former vice chair Theodora Toth, with 77% of the vote following the retirement of Richard Seabury III.   Lois Johnson, Marilyn Cioffi, Joan Bramhall and Patti Page served as Morris GOP chairs prior to Ali taking the post in 2019.

“The Morris County Republican Party has been leading the way in having women in leadership roles as long as I can remember,” said State Sen. Anthony M. Bucco (R-Boonton).  “We have been electing female Republican chairwomen since the 1970s.”

“As you can see from our dedication to women leaders, we are not the party of buzz words and wokeness,” said Ali.  “We practice what we preach in leading with Republican policies that give women medical freedom, job opportunity, low taxes and independence.”  Ali’s comments on medical freedom came one week after a draft opinion shows conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court preparing to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Ai said Morris Republicans are a better choice for women voters.

“We certainly are not the party that would cause moms to stress and worry about having enough infant formula to feed their babies because the shelves at the grocery stores are barren,” Ali said.  “Today’s reality for women and men alike is Joe Biden’s and Phil Murphy’s America which Republicans stand in stark contrast to.”

Two of the three candidates running for Morris County Commissioner on the GOP organization line are women: Christine Myers and Sarah Neibart.  Four Republican women represent parts of Morris in the legislature, including Assemblywoman Aura Dunn (R-Mendham).

The first woman to represent Morris in the State Assembly was Josephine S. Margetts (R-Harding), who was elected in 1967.  Four years later, when Ann Klein (D-Morris Township) won an Assembly seat, two of the three women in the Assembly – the third was Millicent Fenwick (R-Bernardsville) – were from Morris County.  Leanna Brown (R-Chatham) became the first Republican woman to serve in the State Senate after she defeated three-term incumbent James Vreeland (R-Montville) in the Republican primary.

Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains) said that decades of Republican strength in Morris are the result of Ali and the other five women who served as county chairs  “who stepped forward and earned the support of rank-and-file Republicans”

“Leaders who then exercised that Party power with honesty, devotion to Republican principles, and eagle eyes toward winning elections for the GOP,” said Webber. “That sets us apart from the Morris County Democrats and helps our Party connect with women and men across the County.”

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