When he gave his views this morning, Hudson County Republican Party Chairman Jose Arango opened the floodgates of women rushing to the aid of Democratic LG candidate Milly Silva.
Among those legislators denouncing Arango’s comments were Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-34), Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37), and Assemblywoman Marlene Caride (D-36).
“Jose Arango’s comments are dismissive, sexist and completely inappropriate and he owes Milly Silva an apology along with the millions of women in New Jersey that he just belittled,” Oliver said. “Sadly this kind of backward thinking is rampant in the Republican Party in our state and throughout the country and it underscores the need for strong women to continue pushing forward into elected office at all levels of government. I applaud Barbara Buono for choosing Milly as her running mate because it will inspire young women throughout our state to consider a career in public service despite what men like Mr. Arango might want.”
Weinberg said, “Jose Arango’s offensive, sexist comments should shock anyone who cares about women’s equality. Milly Silva is an executive who oversees 8,000 workers and multi-million dollar budgets. Governor Christie should immediately disavow his party’s Hudson County Chair and demand his immediate removal. Jose Arango’s attitude towards women has no place in public life. This is just another instance of Republicans taking women for granted, both nationally and locally. Whether it’s the Republican War on Women of 2012 that sought to redefine rape at the federal level, the current effort to dismantle Roe vs. Wade in the state legislatures, or Chris Christie’s refusal to fund women’s health care centers for four years running in New Jersey, it is clear that Republicans are out of touch and have an anti-woman agenda.
“Perhaps Mr. Arango instead of demeaning women, including his secretary, should spend more of his time fighting the Republican anti-immigration agenda,” the senator majority leader added.
Then there was Caride.
“It’s sadder when it’s coming from a Latino,” said the assemblywoman. “His comments are harder to take because he is Latino, but you don’t have diversity in the New Jersey Republican Party.”
Caride also said she was disappointed that while Gov. Chris Christie condemned prejudiced comments by U.S. Rep. Steve King, he left open the possibility of campaigning with the Iowa Republican.
“I’m sorry he didn’t come out sooner,” Caride said. “He should have been condemning the remarks sooner, and I think he should have closed the door and said ‘I’m not going to campaign for him.’”
Somerset County Democratic Committee Chair Peg Schaffer also weighed in.
“Hudson County Republican Chairman Jose Arango’s deplorable and outrageously sexist comments toward Lt. Governor nominee Milly Silva are unbefitting of any New Jersey political leader,” Schaffer said. “This statement by one of Governor Christie’s local lackeys is completely emblematic of the disdain for women that has become so pervasive in the Republican party in recent years.
“He first insulted Ms. Silva, a tireless advocate for working men and women all across the state of New Jersey, by referring to this strong woman as a ‘poor thing.’ Then he belittled secretary and supporting staff roles through his shameful and demeaning tone regarding their importance in the workplace. I wish I could say I was shocked, but with the current governor’s assault on women’s health care and his fondness for bullying tactics, it is clear that his attitude has rubbed off on his local underlings. The Republican war on women is alive and well in Chris Christie’s New Jersey, and Chairman Arango has proven himself a good soldier in Christie’s anti-woman crusade.”