The Mayor of Sea Bright, New Jersey, Democrat Dina Long, has endorsed incumbent Governor Chris Christie in his re-election bid, as reported by the Asbury Park Press (APP) on Feb. 21, 2013. The endorsement will rattle the state’s Democratic machine and will most certainly cause Long serious repercussions for crossing party lines and not endorsing Gubernatorial Democratic Candidate Senator Barbara Buono.
Long has been a folk hero of sorts since her town was one of the hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy, her spirit and leadership has been an inspiration to many and has basically put her on the political map especially coming from a small town. Her endorsement will be seen as a defection although she claims she is still a democrat and has no intentions of switching parties.
In her endorsement Long said that “there is no time for Republicans and Democrats to bash each other in the name of party politics. I don’t want to spend the next six months being coy.”
Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal on behalf of the Monmouth County Democrats Executive Committee and Monmouth County Democrats Women's Caucus Co-Chair Patricia Teffenhart on behalf of the Monmouth County Democrats Women's Caucus did not take the news well, posting a statement on Face Book that stated “"Mayor Long has gone through extraordinary challenges with her town ravaged by Hurricane Sandy. We are empathetic to these challenges, as a Democratic Mayor, relying on our Republican Governor to support her town as it rebuilds. However, Mayor Long has a history of aligning herself with Republicans when it's convenient; being sworn into office by the Republican Freeholder Director and appointing Republicans to every major position in Sea Bright, including Municipal Attorney, with her appointment of former Republican County Chairman Joe Oxley.”
“Since the Monmouth County Democrats reorganized in the summer of 2012, Mayor Long has neglected to attend a single Democratic event or meeting, calling us to question her commitment to the party far in advance of this latest news. As a result, we will be taking the appropriate steps of restructuring the Democratic Party in Sea Bright, to ensure that the voice of true Democrats is one that prevails."
" The Monmouth County Democrats have been working diligently to increase involvement of dedicated, passionate Democrats that will advance the ideals for which our party stands. Mayor Long's most recent endorsement of Governor Christie is in stark contrast to our Democratic principles, and those of the over 250 top Democratic elected officials and party leaders across Monmouth County who have endorsed Barbara Buono for Governor and will be working hard for her to elect her in November."
Long’s claim that she is not switching parties might be her true feeling, but newsflash, this is New Jersey, where politics is a sporting event and a defection will not be taken lightly, as the Facebook statement clearly indicates.
“Tens of thousands of New Jerseyans had their lives literally blown apart by super storm Sandy, and in my community alone there are hundreds of people who are struggling every day to get by. This governor understands that” Long said. “I’m a Democratic mayor with a Republican council in a Republican county and a state with a Republican governor,” she added. “What am I supposed to do?”