When did we become such a forgiving people?

Morris County Republicans traditionally don’t hold grudges, which might make it a little easier for Jay Webber as he embarks on a bid to win a State Assembly seat in the 26th district. If he wins, Webber — who ran a strong race for State Senate against Robert Martin in 2003 — would join a long list of public officials who won after taking on incumbents in a GOP primary. Rodney Frelinghuysen challenged Republican incumbent James Courter in the 1982 congressional primary and then won a State Assembly seat in 1983 after ousting Republican Assemblyman William Bishop in the primary. Joseph Pennacchio, who is the heavy favorite to succeed Martin in the Senate next year, launched his political career by running against Congressman Dean Gallo in the 1984 primary. That was a particularly nasty race, especially since Gallo — unbeknownst to Pennacchio — was suffering from cancer. Pennacchio went on to win races for Freeholder and State Assembly. Michael Patrick Carrolll took on Frelinghuysen and incumbent Arthur Albohn in a 1993 primary for State Assembly before winning the seat in 1995. Rick Merkt ran against incumbent Anthony Bucco in 1995 and won the seat in 1997. John Inglesino ran against Carroll in 1997 and later won a seat on the Morris County Board of Freeholders.

When did we become such a forgiving people?