NUTLEY, NJ- ACongressman Rodney Frelinghuysen visited the Nutley Republican Club resulted on Sunday November 5 following an invitation from Walt Smith.
Frelinghuysen stopped by the club’s annual pre-election day cocktail party at the historic home of Ms. Ruth Bedford on Highfield Lane. The Congressman informed the fifteen or so club members in attendance that he had just left gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno at a rally in his home county of Morris County.
“We have an interesting gubernatorial race. I have to say I never thought much of the whole notion of having a Lieutenant Governor. I thought quite honestly it was a waste of money. In reality she’s done a heck of a good job. I have her cell phone. Whenever I have an issue with the state of NJ, whether a constituent or a business… Kim Guadagno always returns her phone calls.”
Regarding the race for governor, Frelinghuysen said: “I think it will be closer than people think.”
The 12-term Representative for New Jersey's 11th Congressional District said in his five minute address to the club members: “I’m very proud to be a Republican. I’m well aware that Nutley is non-partisan. I’ve gotten to know your commissioners and you have a remarkable town.”
He later stated: “Your schools are beautiful, clean and shiny, but they are old.”
“If you are going to have change [in Washington] you have to have some bi-partisanship. There is not one iota of that.” Frelinghuysen said.
He continued: “New Jersey is a donor state. Right now we get back less than sixty-one cents on the dollar… less than anyone else.”
Frelinghuysen also stated that hopefully things were happening on the Roche property and asked the members to fill him in.
Mrs. Bedford told TAPinto Nutley that over the years, membership in the Nutley Republican Club has been ‘up and down’. The 99 years young township icon recalled the ‘uphill’ time being during the Cahill administration. “All the Republican Clubs of Essex County would gather for dinners… What I’ve learned is [the party] has to have politicians who know how to change.”
William T. Cahill was Governor of New Jersey from 1970 to 1974. According to his obituary in the NY Times: “…moderate Republican, he was elected in 1969 by more than a half-million votes over Robert B. Meyner, a former Democratic governor who was attempting a comeback after two terms of another Democrat, Gov. Richard J. Hughes. Mr. Cahill's landslide was one of the biggest in the state's history, and he had a Republican-led Legislature to work with…”
Bedford met her husband Stan when they were both members of the Nutley Young Republicans Club working on the Eisenhower campaign.
Other history of Nutley politics included the Democratic Party. Anthony Iannarone, long-time member and President of the Library Trustees said: “Carmen Orechio was the Democratic luminary that everything centered around him [in Nutley].”
Today, things are changing. “We are working to reinvigorate the Republican Club in Nutley.” Past President, Walt Smith
Iannarone said there were 45-50 people who attended that last meeting of the club. The bi-laws are undergoing revisions to include three classes of membership:
- Registered Republicans
- Conservative Independents
- Young Republicans
Iannarone told the members that IT [social media] was the key to bringing in younger members. “Look around the room. How many people are under 60? I was once a 21 year old Rutgers liberal. The definitions have changed. ” An upcoming meeting will be scheduled for adoption of the new bi-laws.
When taking his leave, Frelinghuysen thanked all in attendance. “My wife asked me, where are you going? When I told her she said, ‘When are we moving to Nutley?’” His departing gesture was writing a check to the Nutley Republican Club.
Note: Iannarone stated that Carmen Orechio reached the age of 91 on November 4th.
Video clip of Congressman Frelinghuysen addressing the Nutley Republican Club November 5 2017