NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Councilman J. Brooke Hern, who is running in the Republican primary for Mayor of New Providence, is taking issue with recent statements issued by the campaign of former Mayor Al Morgan.  Morgan recently received the endorsement of the New Providence Republican Committee.

"Contrary to recent reports, the Republican nominee for mayor of New Providence has not been chosen. Instead, the nominee of our party will be selected by the voters in a primary election to be held on June 8, 2010. I am seeking the Republican nomination for mayor," said Hern.  "To be clear, no candidates have as yet been selected to run on the 'Republican Ticket.' Any candidate who claims to be running on the 'Republican Ticket' is misleading the voters. At present, there is more than one Republican candidate for mayor, and voters will get to choose between them," Hern added. 

He continued, "That vote will be a referendum on the future of New Providence. For example, while my opponents have long advocated for high-density residential development on Mountain Avenue, I have consistently fought against this irresponsible overdevelopment; while my opponents have always sought to fight rising property taxes through massive residential development projects, I have asked our community to be guided by the failure of similar efforts in other communities, which have always led to increased costs, higher taxes, and a diminished quality of life." 

Hern concluded, "On June 8th, Borough voters will choose between Republican candidates offering very different futures for New Providence. These voters will ultimately decide which candidate for mayor will be on the 'Republican ticket.'"

Former Mayor Al Morgan said that he is running on the first line of the Union County Republican Ticket endorsed by the New Providence Republican Committee.  He stated, "The New Providence Republican Committee appointed me the first line on the Union County Republican ticket. Mr. Hern had an opportunity to present his platform before the Republican Committee, however, the committee felt that I would better serve the interests of New Providence and they appointed me the first line based on my record of proven leadership and fiscal responsibility." 

Morgan continued, "I love this town and have accepted this honor to run again and serve the community I love as Mayor of New Providence because I believe I can bring the community together and am committed to ease us through the state cuts and difficult times ahead."

"Along with my colleagues, Council Candidate Robert Munoz and Councilman Michael Gennero, who were also selected to run on the Union County Republican first line, we are committed to open dialogue, opinions, ideas, and solutions to make New Providence affordable, safe, and a great place to live," Al Morgan concluded.

Meanwhile, Union County Republican Chairman Phil Morin issued a statement on behalf of the Republican Committee of Union County following the endorsement of Al Morgan for Mayor, Mike Gennaro for Council and Robert Munoz for Council by the New Providence Republican Municipal Committee.

"By an overwhelming margin, the New Providence Republican Municipal Committee has endorsed former Mayor Al Morgan, Councilman Mike Gennaro and Robert Munoz to run as the official New Providence Republican team," stated Morin.

"As a result, the Morgan-Gennaro-Munoz ticket will receive the endorsement of the Republican Committee of Union County and run in the Republican primary on the Regular Organization Republican of Union County line," Morin said.

"The Union County Republican Committee is pleased to have such a strong ticket in New Providence," Morin continued. "All three individuals have a strong track record of public service in the community. Former Mayor Al Morgan brings a proven record of leadership and fiscal responsibility, common sense, and passion for his home town to the office of the Mayor, Councilman Mike Gennaro, as President of one of the largest multi-disciplined engineering firms in the region, will continue to be a fiscal watchdog for the residents of New Providence and council candidate Robert Munoz is a successful small business owner with extensive mediation experience and is a respected volunteer in the community who will bring a fresh and enthusiastic presence to the council."

Reached for comment about Mr. Morin's statement, Councilman Hern told The Alternative Press, "I must respectfully disagree with Mr. Morin's view that my candidacy for mayor of New Providence is somehow 'unofficial'."      

New Providence Mayor John Thoms was not available for comment.