Sussex County GOP Chair Hambel to retire

Bilik is facing off against establishment candidates Space and Phoebus, and fellow newcomer Nathan Orr,  on her own ticket.

Bilik is facing off against establishment candidates Space and Phoebus, and fellow newcomer Nathan Orr, on her own ticket.

Sussex County GOP Chair Ailish Hambel won’t seek another term as leader of her party in heavily Republican Sussex County.ailish

She’s leaving, in fact, mid-term.

“After Tuesday the party will need healing and I am not in a position to lead the charge,” Hambel said in an email note to Republicans this weekend. “The party needs new perspectives and ideas and new leadership. I no longer have the time and energy that is necessary for this to become a successful outcome.

“Please accept my resignation as of June 10,” she added. “The committee deserves a leader committed to the time, energy and resources necessary to making it as successful as possible. I can no longer do this. Additionally, I will not be able to make election night gathering due to personal reasons. I will leave that in the hands of my county committee and it’s leadership. The next time I interest you in person will be at at the June 10th., county committee meeting.”

Hambel’s county is in the middle of a warzone right now as GOP establishment-backed Assemblyman Parker Space and his running mate, Gail Phoebus, attempt to stare down a primary challenge.

The chair told PolitickerNJ that the bruising primary contributed to her decision.

“I was not eligible to be up until next June but it’s time for me to step down,” Hambel said. “I’m 63 years old, I work full time in Newark. i work in safety education in Newark, New Jersey. The party needs somebody who has more time than i do. There’s alot of healing that has to go on and I dont have the energy that is needed to bring everybody back together.”

A source close to the party said Jerry Scanlan of Hopatcong will have support in the party if he chooses to run to replace Hambel. He’s a county college trustee who works for Lucent, and has been very active in county GOP for years. Vice chair of college trustees and second vice chair of county GOP, Scanlan essentially ran Gov. Chris Christie’s 2013 reelection effort in Sussex.

A second source told PolitickerNJ that Jill Space, wife of Parker Space, may also be interested in the chair’s job.

Hambel served as chair of the Sussex GOP since 2009. She succeeded Rich Zeoli.

 

 

Sussex County GOP Chair Hambel to retire