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Mercer County Republican Chair Lisa Richford. (Photo: Lisa Richford).

Some Republicans seek to remove Richford as Mercer GOP chair

Meeting shut down to avoid discussion on no-confidence vote

By David Wildstein, February 20 2023 8:34 pm

A bid to oust Mercer County Republican Chair Lisa Richford tonight failed after she abruptly ended the executive board meeting before a vote of no confidence could be held.

Ewing GOP Municipal Chairman Jeremy Whaley sought to present a letter signed by a majority of municipal chairs laying out their grievances against Richford.

“I’ve got a petition to remove Lisa Richford,” Whaley told the New Jersey Globe.  “She’s not following the rules.  I think this is egregious.”

The chairs said their letter of no confidence was written “in the interest of preserving the integrity of the party and to steer the party in a different direction from the current trajectory.”

“Over the years, the situation within the county party has not improved, and relationships have continued to deteriorate between the county and municipal leadership,” the chairs said in their letter.  “It is imperative that a change be made.”

The letter alleged ineffective leadership by Richford, suggesting that she doesn’t raise money, hasn’t developed relationships in the county, and displays  “disrespectful and vulgar behavior toward the municipal chairs and municipal committees.”

The removal of Richford before her term ends in June 2024 would require a two-thirds vote of the full county committee.

Robbinsville Mayor David Fried, the only mayor in the county who is a registered Republican, said he supported the move.

“I think it’s time for her to resign,” Fried said.  “We need new leadership.  We need to go in a new direction.”

The full county committee is set to meet next month to pick candidates for county executive, county commissioner, as well as Senate and Assembly in the 14th and 15th districts.  There is no apparent opposition to any of the candidates who have expressed interest in running.

Mercer County Republicans have not won a countywide election in 23 years or a legislative race in 16 years.   The only local officeholder elected in a partisan election in the county is Hopewell Borough Councilman Sky Morehouse.

Richford did not immediately return an 8:01 PM call to her cell phone.

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