So we won the primary about as well as we could. You can take a look at the results here. Two people had to be chosen from a group of four as the party’s slate of candidates for the general, and Gene Lawrence is a solid candidate with prior experience in elected office whom we back to win in November with Josh.
The primary results were a marked contrast from the Republican results last year. To show how crazy that got, take a look at this: Primary election, June 8th 2010. There are a bunch of candidates dividing the base. Some competition is healthy, of course, but one wonders if there’s a limit to that.
So can I say our campaign created party unity? Of course not (perhaps the party has already unified?). I hope it will contribute to that goal. I hope it will bring new people to the party. More on that in a bit. Right now, the lower number of Republican voters is a concern; we want as many as possible to be aware of what’s at stake. And we’re going to need a ton more people to declare themselves Republican in a hurry. 6,504 people have been counted as voting Republican in this year’s primary (95.88% results in). 18,236 people voted in the Democratic primary (again, 95.88% results in). That’s a ridiculous edge in registration making itself manifest. So ridiculous that even if our party doesn’t campaign well from here on out, I expect the number of Democrats in this county will lower and the number of Republicans will increase. It isn’t like the Democrats have lacked power, and they’re running on a less than stellar record.
Let’s make some of that record clear: the Democrats, who have controlled the Board of Freeholders for a long while now, have not adequately funded the jail, putting inmates and guards at risk. With a $43 million hole in the budget, they’ve laid off numerous employees, at one point even threatening to put half the prosecutor’s office out on the street. One has to wonder what exactly the plan to fix the budget long-term is: they’ve proposed an 8% property-tax rate increase, and I do think we need to be attentive when we hear that the increase is necessitated because of the rising cost of “employee benefits.”
So again, I’m backing Joshua Rocks. One-party rule isn’t a good thing. It can make public servants lax and complacent in ways they may not be able to account for. It’s not that they sit around smoking cigars and drinking scotch. It’s more like they think they have a problem under control when they really don’t, and we’ll have to pay later. Having someone around to ask difficult questions and look at things from a different perspective is a huge plus. I don’t look at November as kicking Democrats off the board. I look at it as “partisanship is so wonderful that we have at least two parties that work with each other.” And yeah, I want the Democrats on the Board to start working with two new competent, qualified people of a different party.