As Gloucester County Republican Chair Loran Oglesby called for a cease fire, Elk Township municipal Chairman Ed Pearson threw his name into the mix of former candidates and elected officials calling on the embattled chairwoman to step down.
"For the life of me I can't figure out why she is holding on," Pearson said. "I am not calling on her to step down for the unflattering remarks she made about one of our winning candidates last year, I'm calling on her to resign because that is what is best for our party. We need a proven leader and a proven winner to step in as our next party leader."
For Oglesby, the trouble flared when former candidates Larry Wallace and Phyllis Scapellato – buried last year in their respective freeholder bids -called into questionthe chair'selection year leadership.
"I'm not sure we can run our candidates on her line this year," said an equally incensed Pearson. "I'm going to bring it up at our next meeting and ask the committee to vote not to run on Oglesby's line if she remains as chairwoman. As I understand it other towns have plans to run off the line too.
"It's time Ms. Oglesby stops fighting the will of the people,” the municipal chair added.
In an interview with PolitickerNJ.com, Oglesby panned the attacks as character assassination launched by a minority in the name of the majority, and redoubled her efforts to run for a fourth term in June.
“All they’re doing is attacking their own party,” said the chairwoman. “They’re going into a public forum instead of talking to me privately. They ran, they lost, and they’re not happy they lost the election. They can’t look within themselves, so they have to blame others. There were several dynamics in the election last year. It’s a Democrat state. It was a presidential election year and we had an unpopular president (George W. Bush). There were a lot of factors. I would have had no problem had they come to discuss things with me.”
Whether it’s Franklin Republican Party Municipal Chair Bill Fey or someone else, Oglesby said she welcomes a challenge in June, but insistedit come above board and within the party process- not in the OK Corral of the Internet.
“The public attacks on the party should end,” she said. “If that stops, then possibly rational discussion can begin. I welcome an honest discussion. These tactics aren’t right. It shouldn’t be about me. It’s about the party.”