Councilman-at-Large Gregory Drummond accepts the endorsement of the Summit Republican Committee for another term on the governing body. Credits: Bob Faszczewski
Sandra Lizza addresses the Summit Republican Convention. Credits: Bob Faszczewski
Mike McTernan tells convention participants why he deserves the First Ward nomination. Credits: Bob Faszczewski
Summit Republican Convention Taps Mike McTernan in First Ward, Sandra Lizza in Second Ward to Join Councilman-at-Large Gregory Drummond in Governing Body Race
Thursday, March 21, 2013 • 6:59am
SUMMIT, NJ - In a five-way race for the Republican organization backing for two open Summit Common Council seats in the June 4 Primary Election delegates to Wednesday’s city Republican mini-convention selected private investment firm owner Mike McTernan in the First Ward and Summit Area Public Foundation Trustee Sandra R. Lizza in the Second Ward.
Incumbent Republicans Tom Getzendanner in the First Ward and Dave Bomgaars in the Second Ward announced they would not seek new terms after serving nine years on the council.
Drummond, who announced two weeks ago that he would seek another two-year term, received token opposition at Tuesday’s confab when Getzendanner nominated former Republican freeholder candidate Andy Smith, saying Drummond had not done enough to oppose the all-Democratic Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Smith declined the at-large nomination, saying he was running for the First Ward seat.
In a three-way initial matchup for the First Ward position retired Summit Police Captain John R. Dougherty joined McTernan and Smith as ballots were cast. Dougherty was eliminated in the first round and, because neither McTernan nor Smith received at least 51 percent of the votes in that round. a second round of voting took place. McTernan prevailed in that round.
Former Mayor Frank Lehr nominated Dougherty, while former GOP chairman Henry “Chip” Dickson nominated Smith and current First Ward Councilman Robert Rubino nominated McTernan.
Lizza won her endorsement in a head-to-head contest with Republican City Committeeman and franchise development manager Nick Cohron.
Lizza was nominated by Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz of Summit, and Mayor Ellen Dickson seconded her nomination.
Bomgaars nominated Cohron and current Second Ward Councilman Patrick Hurley seconded the nomination.
City Republican Chairwoman Lisa Allen convened the convention then turned the podium over to New Jersey Republican Chairman Sam Raia, who expressed confidence that, with Governor Chris Christie at the head of the ticket, the GOP this year stood a good chance of taking control of the legislature.
Union County Republican Chairman Phil Morin said the party had hopes this year of capturing three freeholder sheets and taking back the sheriff’s office.
He attacked Democratic Sheriff Ralph Froehlich, who has been in office 36 years, for “double-dipping” on pensions-the sheriff is a former Elizabeth police captain--and hiring four undersheriffs, including Democratic Assemblyman Joseph Cryan of Union.
Munoz joined her runningmates, State Senator Thomas Kean, Jr. and Assemblyman John Bramnick in asking the support of the Summit GOP organization in their quest for reelection.
All the officeholders and candidates emphasized strong fiscal conservatism and the desire to keep taxes in check.
Remarks from the council candidates included a promise by McTernan to continue “small but effective government” and a call by Smith for the Summit party to “put aside any petty differences and run together for the good of Summit.”
The Hilltop City’s Democratic Committee has not yet announced who it will endorse for the three council seats, but Smith, in seeking to capitalize on his name recognition within the city, said he expected the Democrats to field a slate of candidates who are well-known in Summit.