Democratic Council Win Angers Republicans

GOP nominee Judy Tiedemann blames her loss to Democrat Jonathan Nelson on 'bad Republicans.'

The day after the 2012 general election in Parsippany, both political parties face new realities in the wake of Democrat Jonathan Nelson's victory over Republican Judy Tiedemann for the Township Council seat now held by James Vigilante.

For the Democrats, who see the first council member from their party in nearly 30 years, it's a time of joy.

"Wow," said Nelson, admitting that he was "speechless."

"I just want to thank everyone who worked really hard and long, long hours to help me in winning this," he told supporters at the Parsippany Elks Club. "I've said all along that I thought we could win this, but it wasn't until we did that we could prove it."

"We want to go further and forward into the future," he said, promising to serve all of Parsippany's residents regardless of party affiliation. "This is the first building block."

Nelson added congratulations to Tiedemann.

"Mrs. Tiedemann ran a good campaign and I thank her for caring about this town," he said.

The mood was decidedly different at Lake Parsippany Rescue and Recovery, where the Parsippany Republican Party counted results. Throughout the night, members alternately cheered or emitted sounds of frustration as Nelson and Tiedemann switched the lead position in what was a neck and neck race.

As the vote count continued, many reliably GOP districts gave wins or strong showings to Nelson, and in the end, the Democrat's ability to win the support of his own party as well as Republicans and Independents made the difference.

"This is a bittersweet moment," said Morris County Freeholder John Cesaro, fresh from his own victory. "Clearly something in this party is broken, and we're going to fix it."

Tiedemann, in her concession speech, congratulated Nelson and wished him luck in serving the people of Parsippany. She also thanked Mayor James Barberio for his support.

In an emotional address, however, she placed blame for her loss on one thing:

"There are good Republicans and there are bad Republicans," she said.

Barberio then spoke angrily, blasting Nelson's campaign against what the candidate called a "rubber-stamp Council" and calling it "bull."

The mayor asked Tiedemann to rest and to consider running for the council seat when it comes up for an election in 2013.

"Jonathan Nelson's just keeping your seat warm for you," he said.

Freeholder Ann Grossi, also visibly angry, also took aim at Nelson.

"The mayor's right, that Jonathan Nelson is just warming your seat," she said. "Next year, I am running for re-election, Jamie is running for re-election, and you're going to be on our ticket and we're going to win."

For his part, retiring Councilman Vigilante praised Tiedemann.

"She's a wonderful woman," he said. "I supported her, put up signs, as did Lou Valori [whom Tiedemann bested for the GOP nomination for council].

"The Republican leadership failed Judy," Vigilante said. "She was set up for failure. They wanted to put up a candidate against Lou Valori. The Republican leadership in this town and some folks on the county level put their personal interests above the party. The result is that we now have a Democratic council member."

The party should learn from the experience, he said.

"If nothing else, I hope this teaches us all a lesson about the word loyalty," said Vigilante.

"It keeps you alive in the desert—and keeps you elected."

David Comora November 07, 2012 at 05:14 PM
Wow, this story makes our Republican leaders look like very ungracious losers! Rather than playing a childish blame game, I hope these individuals can try to focus on working with each other and Jonathan to continue to make Parsippany a great town to live in.
Scott Dean November 07, 2012 at 05:29 PM
I have to agree,just the thought of a representative that will be a watchdog for the taxpayers must be an uneasy feeling for the regime in the future..
Analli Citall November 07, 2012 at 05:32 PM
I agree, you would think the Republican leaders would say something like "I look forward to working with Jonathan and reaching across the aisle for compromise. Obviously the residents of Parsippany have spoken and we will listen. It is very apparent that not all Parsippany residents are Republicans and this election can be a spotlight towards having both political parties work together to help each and every Parsippany resident." Or something like that.
Suburbanites November 07, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Ann Grossi should be ashamed or herself and Barbieri should be consumed with pouding the !@#$ out of JCP&L to get power back to thousands in his city that are still without. Times of crisis like this hurricane tell us what kind of local leaders we have. When you OBJECTIVELY look at JCP&L's performance in Parsippany and compare it to other Morris County townships it's dismal. That's on you Mr. Mayor. Congratulations Mr. Nelson, I'm a registered Republican who crossed parties to vote for you. Good luck.
dawn November 07, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Thank you Ms. Grossi - you have made my decision for the 2013 election much easier!
Frank Drebin November 07, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Maybe the Mayor and his faithful followers will finally realize that people are tired of his putting "his people" in political jobs. Wait till he runs for re-election.
PeoplesChamp November 07, 2012 at 09:35 PM
What a bunch of disgusting rhetoric. Work with Jonathan, stop with the crappy attitude. Wow.
Submit57 November 07, 2012 at 09:38 PM
All these do-gooder political figures. The only people who really count are themselves. Why is it they attack and hurt each other while helping their friends and not really look toward the good of the people, the residents. Ive seen some of the elected people talking in whisper to low level leaks with loud mouths, just eating up the information which is bad information. The leaks have an agenda of their own and being low level it is done to hurt individuals. Just so pathetic, the whole lot.
Bob Crawford November 07, 2012 at 10:06 PM
I have talked to a number of Parsippany friends who are Republicans today and there is a great deal of post election confusion about who among them has been identified as being "bad Republicans" There is also a great deal of curiosity about who is making that determination Perhaps, Mayor Barberio and/or Freeholder Grossi could shed some light as to the process by which that determination is being made and what "bad Republicans" might need to do to become good again. .
Todd M. Finchler November 07, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Bad Republican? Is that defined as an independent thinker who does not blindly support the ticket? I will take a bad Republican or Democrat over a party voter any day of the week. Congrats Jonathan. Your thoughtfulness has resonated with the voters.
Jeff November 07, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Very bitter. If they need to see what is wrong with the party -- all they need is a mirror. From a piss-poor over-paid website, to allowing a scam commercial to clerk lawsuits to promoting police officers in an underhanded way -- please go figure why there is a backlash. You guys are an embarrassment -- maybe you can look at the polls as the citizens sending you a message. Get your act in line and then expect our backing. Seriously - ungracious losers.
NYYFan November 07, 2012 at 11:16 PM
"There are good Republicans and there are bad Republicans" Now there are smart republicans. Welcome to Parsippany Jonathon!
Bob Crawford November 08, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Just heard from that good Parsippany Republican Pogo. Pogo said that what Mayor Barberio and Freeholder Grossi meant to say, last evening, when they spoke about bad Republicans is that they now better understand what Pogo meant when Pogo said "we have met the enemy and he (she) is us". So stay tuned as Mayor Barberio and Freeholder Grossi undertake efforts to become good Republicans.
Robert Simpson November 08, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Judy lost because she was endorsed by puppet master Barbero.
Brian Stanton November 08, 2012 at 01:46 AM
It was a hard fought campaign and Jonathan Nelson won!!! Congratulations Jonathan on your victory. Now its time to get to work. The last time I checked I was elected to represent Parsippany and all our 53,000 plus residents, not just my Republican Party. We have to work together and do what's right to keep Parsippany as the #1 place to live in New Jersey. Council President Brian Stanton
Scott Dean November 08, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Well said Brian, Mr.Nelson congratulations and thank you in advance for your dedication to all of the residents of this town,
Barbara L. November 08, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Mrs. Tiedemann did not say there are good and bad Republicans. She said that there are honorable and dishonorable Republicans. She considers herself to be an honorable one. She said this because there are elected Republican Committee Members who do not support Republican candidates. Instead they will support the Democratic candidate. You know who are you. This is America and you are free to choose the candidate you feel is best qualified however you do have an obligation to your party. If your not happy with the party then you should change (actually some of you have gone back & forth). These types of actions do not help Republicans. We are suppose to work together not against one another. All of these negative comments do not help. Mr. Nelson congratulations on your win and good luck obtaining your goals.
PeoplesChamp November 08, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Very well put. I hope your sentiments match your actions and both parties work well together ;)
Judy Brangwin Baker November 08, 2012 at 02:45 PM
"He is just warming your seat". That is exactly what is wrong with our political system. Apalling is what that statement is, and tells me that for the next year nothing will get done. Shame on you all, and I agree it will make voting in 2013 much easier.
g November 08, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Tiedemann said, "She said this because there are elected Republican Committee Members who do not support Republican candidates. Instead they will support the Democratic candidate" If this is true why have two parties? Two parties exist as a check on the other party. If we had one party and they wanted to raise taxes 50% against the will of the people there is no one to stop it. At least with a two party system there would be some sort of way to prevent such a big increase.
Sabot November 08, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Great point Twizzler.
Chace Dremer November 08, 2012 at 10:33 PM
The voters spoke and chose Mr. Nelson....congrats...time for everyone to work together..no warming of seats.....Jonathan hold your ground and do what is best for all the people of Parsippany. Mrs Tiedemann because of your poor attitude, dont run again in 2013,,,no one will vote for you a sore looser. We need strong leadership..not you and your cry babies....wawawa
Alexis Betancourt November 09, 2012 at 04:11 AM
Congratulations Mr. Nelson on your victory to the Parsippany Town Council. I have been a resident of Parsippany for almost 3 years and I am a registered Democrat. Needless to say that I voted for you and the rest of the democratic ticket. I was not aware that the Council had Republicans as members for 30 years. So I guess it was time for a change. Also, I noticed that the Board of Education also has a Republican membership that is practically all republican. Only one democrat in the race for our Towns BOE, unbelievable. Since I am retired I don't pay much attention to these local elections but henceforth I will vote in all of them. It wasn't very flatering reading these leaders of our town commenting on your election to the seat you now hold, but time will tell if they are going to be in there much longer. Again congratulations and I wish you all the luck you deserve.
g November 09, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Alexis Betancourt stated, "So I guess it was time for a change." Is this the criterion a registered democrat uses for voting?
Michael Soriano November 15, 2012 at 10:05 AM
"G" according to the Election Data it looks like Democrats, Independents and Republicans thought it was time for a change.


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