Voters in Sussex County have made it official: they have disgraced the county and the state of New Jersey.
They had a chance to reject hate but instead embraced it.
They had a chance to elect responsible leadership but instead chose a bully with a big mouth and nothing else.
So now, the Sussex County Board of Commissioners adds Bill Hayden to its membership. What a pity. But unlike a lot of other people, we do not deny election results. We accept the will of the voters, however warped and bigoted it is. We don’t have to like it - and make no mistake, we don’t - but we have to live with it.
That does not, however, mean we’re going to leave Hayden alone. I have absolutely no confidence in his capability to rise to the responsibilities of his office. I fully expect the hatred, misogyny and utter incompetence he displayed during the campaign to carry over into his new position.
And being elected to office does not erase the stain of his associations with domestic terrorist groups, nor his support for and collaborations with persons involved in the attempt to overthrow the government of the United States in 2021.
When a candidate is elected to office, they are chosen to represent the entire population, not just the ones they like. Hayden has demonstrated no inclination or ability to act in the best interests of the people of Sussex County - ALL of the people, not just his fellow Republican sycophants. He will, no doubt, be the most extreme of the Board of Commissioners, ignoring the best interests of the county in order to further the anti-American agenda of the Sussex County Republican Party. He is, after all, beholden to them for his newly-won 15 minutes of fame.
Because of the boneheaded decision of county Republicans to elect Hayden, two very good women--Damaris Lira and Camila DiResta--did not get the chance to prove their worthiness for office. They ran a spirited campaign, demonstrating their desire to be champions of the entire county. However, they fell victim to the usual slimeball tactics of the Republicans, which included racist and misogynistic statements, threats of intimidation against their supporters, and the newly-embraced tactic of refusing to debate their opponents, so voters could see candidates side-by-side and make real-time comparisons. Instead, Hayden, displaying the cowardice which has become his trademark, chose not back up his words in a public forum. Well, now people will see what they have done, because I can assure you that every word that comes out of Tea Bagger Billy’s mouth will be placed under the bright light of public scrutiny. This writer maintains the position that Hayden is morally unfit to hold office and will continue to highlight his lack of competence.
It’s unfortunate that Jill Space has her name associated with Hayden. Although I did not support her candidacy - and have issues with her stands on social positions - she is not the anti-government extremist her new fellow commissioner is. I still feel Damaris and Camila were better candidates, but Space’s election is not as disgustingly unpalatable as her running mate.
So, Republican voters of Sussex County (because I’m sure few Democrats voted for him), you had a chance to remove the reputation of being the joke of the state. Instead, by electing a totally unqualified extremist, you confirmed it. You got what you wanted. I hope you can live with it.