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Former Morris County Republican Chairman John Sette. (Photo: Morris County.)

Court won’t hear former Morris GOP freeholders’ appeal

By Nikita Biryukov, February 04 2021 8:11 pm

An Appellate Court judge denied an application submitted Wednesday for permission to file an emergent motion made by two former Morris County freeholders seeking to block a convention the county Republican organization plans to hold Saturday for a vote on adopting a party line.

Appellate Judge Richard Geiger shot down the application, finding former GOP Freeholders David Scapicchio and John Sette, who ran the Morris County Republican Committee for 17 years, did not face irreparable injury and because they failed to meet any of bars for injunctive relief set in a 1982 Appeals Court opinion.

The filing repeated arguments claiming the convention was improperly noticed, which Superior Court Judge Maritza Berdote Byrne dismissed on Monday.

Republican leaders in Morris, including County Chairwoman Laura Ali and State Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R-Montville), among others, want the party to adopt an organizational line to ensure strong candidates win primaries as Democratic strength in the county grows.

Sette, Scapicchio and their allies, which include two other former Morris GOP chairs, argue it’s a bid to centralize power that will dissuade new, particularly young, Republicans from seeking office.

The MCRC convention is slated for Saturday morning.

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