John Sette

Sette says he did 50,000 robocalls in Morris County for Lonegan yesterday; likes momentum

Sette says he did 50,000 robocalls in Morris County for Lonegan yesterday; likes momentum

For John Sette, veteran chairman of the Morris County Republican Party, it comes down to one word.


He sees GOP energy for underdog Republican candidate Steve Lonegan in his sprawling suburban county, where the establishment Republican has had to ride the bucking bronco of Tea Party rebellion and now feels only too happy to harness some of that internal combustion behind Lonegan.

And Sette sees it elsewhere.

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Lonegan doubles down on 'bodies floating in the Passaic River,' vows victory tomorrow

Lonegan doubles down on 'bodies floating in the Passaic River,' vows victory tomorrow

MORRISTOWN – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Steve Lonegan led an election eve rally at the green here, vowing to defeat Newark Mayor Cory Booker in a resounding win for America and the ideas furnished by the country’s founding fathers.

“The things we stand for are the values and principles of our ancestors, our neighbors, our friends, the people who go to work every day… going to the shooting ranges on Saturday, church on Sunday and work on Monday,” said Lonegan, who staunchly backs the Tea Party-led shutdown of the federal government.

“The nation tomorrow night will be rocked,” he added, vowing to paint in bold colors, not pale pastels.

The crowd of a couple hundred people loved it, sporting straw hats with “Lonegan” printed front and back and waving and shaking signs in support of the candidate.

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Buccos won't endorse in Morris Freeholder race

Buccos won't endorse in Morris Freeholder race
Assemblyman Tony Bucco (R-Boonton Twp.)

TRENTON - Don't look for the Buccos to get involved in the Morris County Freeholders race, says Assemblyman Tony Bucco (R-Boonton Twp.).

"We're not issuing an endorsement," said Bucco, son of state Sen. Anthony Bucco (R-Boonton Twp.). "We've made a decision not to get involved. Let the people decide."

Incumbent freeholder Jack Schrier, Doug Cabana and Jim Murray are pursuing re-election as a team.

Buccco bested his brother-in-law Cabana last year in an agonizing contest for assembly that wounded the combatants and strained family relations.

Mayor John Krickus of Washington Twp., Christine Myers of Mendham, Parsippany Councilwoman Anne Grossi, Tom Mastrangelo of Montville, and perennial candidate Ed France are challening the incumbents, according to Morris County GOP Chairman John Sette.

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Schindel says he's challenging Sette on personality and grassroots ability - not ideology

Given the opportunity to lambaste Morris County GOP Chairman John Sette, Vincent Schindel of Parsippany won't do it - but that doesn't mean he won't challenge Sette for the party chairmanship.

"I just have a different vision of where the Republican Party should be going," Schindel told "I want to have a more inclusive goal with our Republican people in the county. I was involved with all the Republican clubs in the county and there are a lot of people on the outskirts of Morris County who feel very excluded from what's going on.

"I'm not going to knock the chairman who's there," he added. "I'm going to try to conform to Ronald Reagan's commandment."

Retired, Schindel said he has been involved with grassroots organizations for almost 50 years.

"There are a lot of people supporting me who are in the Tea Party group," he said. "They're all grassroots people without a political agenda. We need to get more people involved in Morris County."

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Report: Sette to receive challenge for GOP chairmanship

Fred Snowflack of the Daily Record reports that Vincent Schindel of Parsippany plans to challenge veteran Morris County Republican Chairman John Sette, who in turn expressed no dismay in the face of the party organizer.

“With great pride and humility I am announcing my candidacy for Chairman of the Morris County Republican Committee," Schindel said in a statement. "A lifelong Republican, my experience and involvement includes being an original organizer of the Morris County Republican Clubs Alliance many years ago. The Alliance meets regularly with 29 municipalities. Our goal is to foster communication and cooperation among the towns and to advance Republican values. We have divided the County into regions to sponsor group meetings in different venues and special activities to help our elected officials be in touch with their constituents and GOTV."

Republican chair since 2002, Sette said he has a proven track record and intends to win a fifth term in June.

"Since I've been chairman, we've elected more Republicans and raised more money and elected a Republican governor," said Sette, a party fundraiser since 1982.

He's unimpressed with Schindel.

"We created a position for him to be a liaison between the local Republican clubs and the committee and in five years he never came to a meeting," said the chairman. "I don't know what his platform is. His platform is we need more communication? He's the one in charge of communication, and he's done nothing."

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DiFrancesco's lame duck nominations

During the final weeks of Donald DiFrancesco's term as Acting Governor, the State Senate voted to confirm 257 appointees during the 2001 lame duck session.  One of them was his Chief Counsel, James Harkness, currently the Senate Republican Executive Director and a member of Governor-elect Christopher Christie's transition team.  Harkness, who was appointed to the Local Finance Board, isn't the only familiar name on DiFrancesco's list of appointments.  At least three  -- Raymond Pocino, Edward Gant, and John Sette -- were included on the list of nominees Gov. Jon Corzine submitted to the State Senate this week.  DiFrancesco also appointed union leader Carla Katz to the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission.  

DiFrancesco's lame duck nominations:

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Sette expects his own nomination to be blocked

Morris County GOP Chairman John Sette says that he supports Republicans’ efforts to block Gov. Jon Corzine’s last minute nominees through senatorial courtesy – even in the case of his own re-nomination to the police training commission.

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s being held up,” said Sette, who has served on the commission for 13 years.  “Chris [Christie] has asked our senators not to sign off on anybody, and that includes me. That’s the Governor-elect’s wishes, and I respect him…. I haven’t talked to Chris about it. But I heard him talk about the principle of it… that these people are going to be shaping policy. I can understand his position.”

Senatorial courtesy is an unwritten rule that allows senators to block nominees who live in their home counties.  

Christie earlier this week denied that he threatened to make use of the practice, and state Sen. Joseph Pennacchio (R-Montville) – one of Morris County’s two senators -- said that his decision to wait on signing off on Morris County nominations is his own—not Christie’s. 

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In a reversal, Sette says he'll run again

MORRISTOWN - Morris County Republican Chairman John Sette has decided that he will seek reelection as chairman after all.

Sette told in April that he would not seek a fourth term as chairman in 2010.  He meant it at the time, but GOP officials prevailed upon him to change his mind. 

"A lot of the elected officials came to me and said, John, you have to do it," said Sette while taking a quick break from his duties as a commissioner for the Morris County Board of Elections.  "My wife gave it her blessing."

Sette started as chairman in 2002, the year after Democrat Jim McGreevey beat Republican Bret Schundler.  He takes pride in the fact that it's a weak chairmanship, and does not consider himself a party boss.  The party has open primaries, giving county committee members and, by extension, Sette, no coveted party line to award.  

In 2005, he presided over the party when Democrat Jon Corzine beat Republican Doug Forester.  This time, he says, Republicans have a better feeling about the race's outcome.

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Gervasio intends to make a race of it in Morristown

Morristown mayoral candidate Jim Gervasio doesn't know whether the presence of GOP gubernatorial nominee Chris Christie will help him as he attempts to disrupt Democratic Party rule in the county seat heart of Christie's home base. 

"I think it's too early to tell," said Gervasio. "Hopefully more Republicans would come out to vote than usual. Party loyalists will vote top to bottom, especially if it's a really close race. If he maintains his lead, he could help me. Would I campaign with him (Christie)? Absolutely."

Gervasio, a local businessman and Morristown Parking Authority commissioner, is in a contest with Zoning Board chair Tim Dougherty, who defeated Mayor Donald Cresitello in the Democratic Primary. 
"My main issues are taxes and safety and the impact of development on quality of life," said Gervasio, who does not believe Cresitello followed a transparent process while advancing numerous development projects in Morristown.

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Will Ramirez replace Sette?

Will Ramirez replace Sette?
Morris County GOP Chairman John Sette, left, with Daily Record columnist Fred Snowflack during a GOP delegate sendoff party last summer

A lot can happen between now and June 2010, but one early contender has emerged to replace John Sette as Morris County GOP Chairman: Republican State Committeewoman Christina Ramirez. Sette has said he won't seek re-election next year. 

If she runs, Ramirez will have the support of State Sen. Joseph Pennacchio (R-Montville).

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 19th

NBC News: Federal charges ruled out for Christie in Bridgegate scandal NBC News tonight is reporting that federal investigators say after nine months of investigating Bridgegate there is 'no evidence" that Gov. Chris Christie had advance knowledge about any politically motivated scheme around the bridge lane closures at the...


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Quote of the Day

quote of the day

“The fact is that they’ve been digging around for eight months now and have found absolutely nothing. Wrap up your work. Do your job." - Gov. Chris Christie

- PolitickerNJ


Should the Joint Legisaltive Committee investigating Bridgegate 'wrap it up?':


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