New Providence Mayor Hern Wants Republicans to Nominate a Woman for New Council Vacancy
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 • 2:50pm
Mayor J. Brooke Hern is calling on Chairman Al Morgan and the New Providence Republican Committee to support a woman to fill the vacancy that will be created by the resignation of Councilman Alan Lesnewich, whose nomination for Superior Court Judge was confirmed by the State Senate yesterday. Under state law, the vacancy will be filled after Morgan and the local the Republican committee present three nominees to the Council. The Council must choose from among the three Republican nominees to fill Lesnewich’s vacant seat on the governing body.
“Since 2008, the dozen or so members of the New Providence Republican Committee have backed candidates for Mayor and Council 13 times,” said Mayor Hern.
“And every single time, they chose a man.”
Adding that there is simply no excuse for their failure to support women for public office, Mayor Hern said, “Over the past five years, the Republican committee repeatedly rejected women who sought their support and wanted to serve on the New Providence Borough Council.”
“I dare anyone to say there are no qualified women who are willing to serve,” said Mayor Hern. “That’s an insult to women, and it’s just not true.”
Mayor Hern pointed to three women who served on the Council with distinction:
Maxine Hirsh, Terri Keller, and Julia MacDermott, who was the last woman to receive Republican Committee support in 2007. “I served on the Council along side Maxine, Terri and Julie, and I can tell you that each one of them brought important perspectives to our policy deliberations,” recalled Mayor Hern. “They were all creative, thoughtful and hardworking elected officials, and Terri and Julie both served as council president.”
“The sad reality is that the New Providence Borough Council has turned into a men’s club, and the responsibility for this failure rests squarely with the Republican committee,” said Mayor Hern. “Councilman Lesnewich’s elevation to the bench should be used as an opportunity to broaden representation and strengthen our municipal
government by supporting qualified women who wish to serve.”
Mayor Hern concluded, “I feel strongly that Al Morgan and his Republican committee should nominate three women for the Council to choose from, because it’s been far too long since they backed any women at all."