By Art Gallagher
Citing the demands of the of NJ Apportionment Commission which is responsible for drawing a new legislative districts map based on the results of the 2010 Census, and his service on the NJ Assembly Budget and Labor Committees, Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris) announced that he is stepping down as chairman of the New Jersey Republican State Committee effective immediately.
The State GOP Committee was informed of Webber’s decision on a conference call this evening. Governor Chris Christie recommended that Saddle River Mayor Sam Raia be elected to replace Webber. Vice Chairwoman Lynda Pagliughi steps up to Acting Chair until the committee formerly meets. A meeting is expected within the next week.
Webber issued the following statement:
“It is with an overriding sense of satisfaction that I make this bittersweet announcement,” said Chairman Webber. “Although I enjoy and appreciate the opportunity to lead our Party during such an important time in our State’s history, the reality is that only about five months remain in the only term I planned on serving. Much of that time in early 2011 will be dedicated to the once-a-decade reapportionment process, a watershed moment in the State’s governmental and political life requiring and deserving my full attention. Shortly after the completion of that process, I will be focused on my service on the Assembly Budget Committee, as we close another budget deficit for Fiscal Year 2012. My stepping aside now will allow the next NJGOP Chairman to get started right away and give our Party’s vital operations the attention they deserve heading into the 2011 elections.
“I am grateful to Governor Christie and the members of the Republican State Committee for entrusting me with the responsibility of leading the Republican Party,” said Chairman Webber. “I also thank our elected officials and candidates, the dedicated members of the NJGOP staff, and the thousands of supporters who through their tireless efforts and tremendous generosity have been the true engine of our Party’s revival. I have been, and remain, humbled to have earned your support for our common cause.
“Together we have made a strong and successful Republican Party by rebuilding from the grassroots up, restoring the integrity of the Republican brand, and electing winning candidates committed to governing the right way when entrusted with the mantle of leadership. I am proud of all that we have accomplished, and have every confidence that together we will continue to serve our State, and our Party, well in the future,” said Chairman Webber.
Raia is a significant GOP fundraiser and supporter of the party. He is a Principle of RAIA Properties Corporation, a real estate investment management and development firm headquartered in Ramsey. He holds a B.S. in Accounting from Seton Hall and an MBA in Management from Fairleigh Dickinson. In addition to his service as Mayor of Saddle River, Raia serves on the boards of the Hackensack University Medical Center and the New Jersey Commerce and Industry Association.