Not long ago, they had the dimes ready for the eyelids of the political career of Burlington County Republican Chairman Bill Layton, who today bounces back again to resolidfy control of the county in Republican hands – and drive a dagger deeper into Democrats.
County Clerk Timothy Tyler and County Surrogate George T. Kotch will both formally announce their change of party affiliation from Democrat and join the ranks of the GOP at a ceremony this morning, according to two sources close to Burlington County politics.
They’re not the latest backroom changes effectuated by Glen Paulsen pupil Layton, who last year helped swing both Evesham Mayor Randy Brown and County Freeholder Chris Brown into the Republican column after both men ran and won as Democrats.
These latest uniform swaps come as political revenge for Layton, who arrived at the chairman’s podium a year after Democrats wrested Fran Bodine away from the party in a finally fatal move – and at the beginning of an Obama tide that swamped the Burlington GOP and left Layton clinging to his job.
The changes also come on the heels of wins by Gov. Chris Christie in 2009 and U.S. Rep. John Runyan (R-3) of Mount Laurel last year.
“The party structure on the Democratic side has disintegrated,” a GOP source quietly celebrated. “These guys see that the GOP welcomed Chris Brown with open arms.”
The defections leave Burlington County Freeholder Mary Anne Reinhart of Shamong as the lone incumbent Democrat on the ballot in Burlington this year. In 2008, Reinhart ran on a successful ticket with Freeholder Chris Brown, who’s also up for re-election.