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Letter: A Call for Civility and Merit in Orange Politics

December 14, 2023
Time to read:

I extend my warm congratulations to all candidates who emerged victorious in the recent municipal elections.  As the Campaign Chair for the Orange Republican Party, I take immense pride in the integrity and dedication of our campaign and the caliber of candidates we presented.

However, it's disheartening to witness the divisive tactics employed by our counterparts.  The refusal of a joint debate, the circulation of blatantly misleading and aggressive attack mailers, and the attempt to inappropriately associate our local Board of Education candidates with national Republican figures were deeply troubling.  Such actions starkly contrast with Orange’s longstanding tradition of civility and respect in political discourse.

In Orange, we have always held ourselves to a higher standard, particularly during campaigns.  As the Campaign Chair, I prioritized maintaining this decorum.  Despite tempting opportunities to retaliate against what we perceived as an unqualified and radical slate of Democratic candidates; we chose to rise above.  Our campaign focused solely on the strengths, qualifications, and proven track record of our candidates, particularly under the successful Zeoli Administration.

I believe the Democrats in Orange have learned a valuable lesson from their significant defeat.  In this spirit, I urge Joe Marruli, Chair of the Democratic Town Committee; Selectman Mitch Goldblatt; and Democratic Campaign Co-Chairs for 2023, Trish Pearson and Jody Dietch, to refrain from engaging in negative political rhetoric.  The future of Orange politics should be built on the merits and visions of candidates, not on disparagement and division.

Let us collectively strive to uphold and cherish the civil political environment that has long been a hallmark of our community.

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