A splinter group of Republicans in Passaic County has asked the county’s GOP committee members to encourage Chairman Scott Rumana to resign by January 1.
GOP Strong, which counts former Passaic County Republican Chairmen Mike Mecca and Peter Murphy among its leaders, issued a letter today to county committee members and “concerned Republicans” arguing that Rumana, who’s also an assemblyman, has failed to revive the beleaguered party.
“Nowhere are the failings of the Republican Party more evident than in Passaic County, where the party chairman Scott Rumana has presided over a string of electoral failures that are disheartening and disappointing,” read the letter, which is signed by Mecca.
Mecca said that after presiding over three straight election losses as a county chairman, he resigned, realizing that it was difficult to balance being an elected official and party chairman at the same time.
“I knew that when I lost three elections in arrow, it was time for a change. And Mr. Rumana has lost every county-wide election as chairman including freeholder, county clerk and sheriff races,” he said.
Sources close to Joe Caruso, a Passaic County native who is considering challenging Rumana for Assembly, say that Caruso has informed Rumana that he will not run for his assembly seat if Rumana resigns the chairmanship.
Rumana, however, said that “I haven’t heard from Joe in a long time.”
Rumana criticized the group, which was created several years ago but recently became active again, as the remnant of the “dark past of the party” that he’s fought to turn around.
“It’s five people: Mike Mecca, Peter Murphy and a few other minions, and that’s about it. It’s about a s minority a minority faction you could possibly have in an organization,” said Rumana, who’s up for reelection to his chairmanship in June.
Rumana said that his party’s losses aren’t as bad as the group has suggested. He said that they held on to all the seats they already held in municipalities, and might gain one council seat in Bloomingdale, pending a recount.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about accomplishment, it’s all about record, and we have built up a petty sizable resume when it comes to serving the public and the party,” said Rumana.