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Rob Zwigard

Zwigard mulls bid for Morris GOP chair

Lost 2018 race by just 4 votes

By David Wildstein, February 05 2020 10:38 am

Robert Zwigard is considering a bid for Morris County Republican Chairman in June, a post he lost by just four votes in 2018.

“I am humbled by all the people that have reached out to me and encouraged me to consider running, including those who weren’t supporters last time,” Zwigard said. “The current leadership in the party has tried and it’s not working.  That’s why we have lost 26 seats — six being mayoral and two being congressional — over the past two years.”

Ronald DeFilippis defeated Zwigard by a razor-thin vote of 242 to 239 after a contentious race to pick their first new chairman in sixteen years.

DeFilippis, stepped down temporarily in November for health and personal reasons.  He is not seeking re-election.

The acting county chair, Laura Marie Ali, has announced that she will run for the post when the party holds elections in June.

Ali played a major role last month in clearing the field for Rosemary Becchi to switch districts and take on Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) in the 11th district instead.

Republicans, including Ali, were able to convince Republican State Committeeman Larry Casha to drop out of the race to give Becchi the GOP nomination.

By convincing Becchi to run against Sherrill, Republicans were able to clear the field in the 7th district for Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean (R-Westfield), who is challenging Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes).

Former Morris County Freeholder John Inglesino said in November that he might seek the county chairmanship.

Zwigard said that the current leadership must be held accountable for their record over the last two years.

“Ultimately campaign politics is about winning and we cannot continue down this path its unsustainable as a party,” Zwigard said.  “If you are not winning, it’s hard to get contributors to support the party which is why we are struggling so badly with money.”

Zwigard is a close ally of Morris County Sheriff James Gannon, and ran his campaigns in 2016 and 2019.

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