Acknowledging disappointment with his national party, Passaic County GOP Chairman John Traier appealed to a sense of tolerance in his opening remarks this morning at the Passaic County Republican Committee candidates' screening in Wayne.
Traier said he worked for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney but did not feel accepted in the GOP last year.
"As a gay man in a 26-year relationship, I felt that I did not belong in the Republican Party any longer," Traier said. "At a poignant moment during our Transition Team meeting, Rev. Nance told how her friends were annoyed that she was still a Republican and some would not talk to her. I knew exactly how she felt. And not only did we feel this way, so did Hispanic voters, young people, soccer moms, women in general, new citizens, and some of our historically Republican voters."
"We need to make people feel welcome in our party -- even if we do not agree on every single issue," added the chairman. "This organization needs to be open to new people with new ideas. We have to put the welcome mat out for people who want to be part of a political organization that stands for something important and offers something different than the failed policies of the Democratic Party."
Traier won his chairmanship last year with a specific appeal to urban voters.
"Our county is changing on a very rapid basis," he said today. "Our party in Passaic County and in New Jersey cannot survive unless we open our doors to all communties and break through the stereotypes that divide us. We need to work on finding the common ground that unites us, not on what divides us. In the 1970's and 1980's, people came to the Republican Party because they felt that they did not belong in the Democratic Party -- the Democrats had left them behind. In the 1980's we called these folks Reagan Democrats. In those years the party became successful both nationally and locally because we reached out to voters with a message of hope, strength and faith based on our core principles."
PolitickerNJ.com reprinted the entirety of the chairman's speech as an op-ed...
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