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Mayor Don Purdy Involved in Movement to Break Away From Galloway Township Republican League

Purdy said his problem is with Chair Terry Lucarelli, and that this decision has been a long time coming.

There will soon be a second Republican Party in Galloway Township, Mayor Don Purdy confirmed following the council meeting Tuesday night, Oct. 23.

“There is a group of people dissatisfied with our current leadership,” Purdy said, stating there are about 50 people involved in the creation of the yet-to-be named club. “We’ve been very unhappy for a long time with the direction that the club is headed in. The direction of the club does not align with my beliefs as a conservative.

“Terry Lucarelli at one point was the kingmaker, but she is not the kingmaker anymore.”

Lucarelli is the chair of the Galloway Township Republican League (GTRL), and has held that position for five years. Under her leadership, the league has financed the campaigns of five of the six Republicans currently on council, and is backing Councilman John Mooney in his bid for election this November. Mooney was nominated to the seat he currently holds in August by the county committee following former councilman and Republican Dennis Kleiner’s resignation in June.

“I’m always aligned with the mayor whenever he’s doing something that I think is right,” Deputy Mayor and fellow Republican Tony Coppola said.

Councilman Brian Tyrrell is a board member for the GTRL, and said he has heard the rumblings, but didn’t comment on his status. Councilwoman Whitney Ullman said she didn’t have enough information to make a comment at this time. Mooney, a GTRL member and past president, had no comment.

“I’m not in favor of it, and I wouldn’t join it,” Councilman Tom Bassford said.

“This is nothing personal against Councilman Tom Bassford,” Purdy said. “I’ve had a long relationship with Councilman Bassford and a good relationship. It’s nothing personal against him.”

Purdy said his problems have been with Lucarelli.

“After the election last year, I was scrutinized for putting (Democrat) Jim McElwee on the Planning Board,” Purdy said. “I try to put parties aside and work together. I try to put parties on the backside.”

Lucarelli denies that she scrutinized the selection on Tuesday night.

“I wish him a lot of luck,” Lucarelli said of Purdy's decision, referring further comments to GTRL President Jennifer Heller.

Attempts to reach Heller for comment Tuesday night were unsuccessful. Purdy stated there was no problem between himself and Heller.

The problems within the party came to the forefront once again following Kleiner’s resignation when the committee put forth Council couldn’t come to a decision on one person to nominate, and the choice was given back to the committee, which appointed Mooney.

At the council meeting on Oct. 9, Mooney proposed cutting the salary for current council members down to $1 and down to $1.50 for the mayor. It’s a motion that no council member seconded and that Purdy believes was inspired by Lucarelli.

Mooney denied his proposal was politically motivated.

This is the second consecutive mayor Lucarelli has clashed with. The problems between Lucarelli and former Galloway Mayor and Republican Keith Hartman prompted Hartman to state in an interview with Galloway Patch: “Purdy and myself no longer consider ourselves to be Galloway Republicans.”

Later in the year, Hartman was removed from council by state statute when he missed eight consecutive council meetings when he said he was being threatened. Hartman stated he believed Kleiner, who he described as "Lucarelli's lapdog" and Roy Foster were behind the threats.

Per its policy, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office never commented on the possible investigation into threats against Hartman.

At the time, members of Galloway Council, including Purdy, said they believed there were no threats against Hartman. Purdy, who Hartman described as his best friend, reiterated that he never saw any evidence to support Hartman's claims on Tuesday night. He also said Hartman was not part of the movement to start a new Republican Club.

“This is something that’s needed to change for a long time,” Purdy said. “I continue to fight and fight and fight. Council is doing a great job, and something needs to change (in the party).

“The county committee is a good group. It’s just one individual lady I don’t see eye to eye with. My problem is with Mrs. Lucarelli.”

Concerned GT Resident October 24, 2012 at 12:48 PM
What's the matter Purdy, you didn't want to give your "best friend" (Hartman) a call and ask if he would join you in the movement against Lucarelli? Must have lost that number for sure. Oh wait, whose idea was that again? Amnesia, it's okay Mr. Purdy, I do believe you said at a council meeting, "I may not be here next year". By the looks of it, you just may have spoken the truth this time. First for everything!
elect351 October 24, 2012 at 02:58 PM
This was a long time coming. 2 consecutive Mayors in a row realized that the local Republican party is rotten at the leadership level. Hartman tried to make a go of it on his own but Coppola and Tyrell were to chicken to go then. Bassford didnt get his way the first time he ran and splt that club. Now he thinks its a bad idea? Purdy claims to have a long relationship with Bassford, it was never a "good one". They hate each other!!! But I would hate someone too if they dangled stuff over my head as threats. Sorry Bassford, you better get in line or Purdy will expose you. Unless what Lucarelli has over your head is worse. Either way, if Purdy got a new party going in Galloway Im certain he would self appoint himself as leader and thats not a far reach from where the current party is with Lucarelli. Both rule with the same style. Galloway is going to the Democratic party. With Gorman and McElwee at the helm it will be a comedy.
elect351 October 24, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Brian you are correct! But thats my point that Purdy/Lucarelli rule by airing peoples laundry and untruths. Harry I dont think Brian was saying Lucarelli is a better option, heck neither option is tolerable they are too similiar.
richard price October 24, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Congradulations to Mayor Purdy for standing up to courupt machine,there are many many loyal republicans that have left the club because of the currupt way it was run.As soon as the new club gets established you will see members come back with renewed energy and enthusiam.Harry Scheeler is 100 percent inhis comment Maybe now,the city can start to run without someone threatning and breathing over your kneck on what to do and who to hire.
Amelia DeFilippis October 24, 2012 at 03:22 PM
I am new to Galloway coming from Hudson County, but I can truly say that Terry Lucarelli has been there for me since i moved here, helping me get registered, helping me with my absentee ballot the first year and just being a wonderful, caring person that I call my friend and I think it is a disgrace that this Mayor has treated her so terribly and know this, I cannot vote for such a petty, terrible person that does such a thing, your days are numbered Mayor!
richard price October 24, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Its about time someone stood up to Luke,she is a thorn that should have been removed along time ago.For your Info Sonney Mc fron Egg Har Township broke away from the clique, and started his own Repub.club,seems to be doing well.Then you talk about Roy Foster,,unions have always endorsed Dem.Why should he suddenly kick in with Mooney,someting has an smell to it.
Ron Schreiber October 24, 2012 at 08:21 PM
i have always said .I have nothing against Don. Still consider him Family.. the crook's were already here . as people can see . Good luck Don in your future. I still support you ,.
mark boucher October 24, 2012 at 11:29 PM
bassford has something hanging over his head everywhere he turns......its a total disgrace hes paid with taxpayers money! he does usally get what he wants though! next time you see him just mention my name! ask him what he got from me! he shoulda been kicked off council way back.there are no ethics with tom bassford, just arrogance! im doing my best to let everyone know just what bassfords done and what he really is!.........mark boucher.
1776 October 24, 2012 at 11:36 PM
I don't even know why they asked Councilman Bastard for comment he dosn't even reside in New Jersey. Who cares what he thinks.
VTPat October 25, 2012 at 12:12 AM
IBEW 351 has been supporting dirty republicans all over Atlantic county and the price has been steep.Look at the problems in Northfield, Galloway, and Somers Point. The building trade unions rarely supported dems in galloway because the dems would not rigs contracts for them and their buddies. The trades are an insult to unionism. It's time we got rid of the prevailing wage ripoff also. The towns / schools cannot afford union only bids and automatically give contracts to out of town labor. The local bar owners would disagree however. I see Sweeney is in town to push the borrow and spend "Building Our Future" bill for the colleges... good luck I will VOTE NO and will not support any union construction dummies running for any office.
VTPat October 25, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Took the words right out of my mouth 1776! BTW while I know all you Republicans are reading this how much did those soccer fields end up costing, you know the ones that "won't cost Galloway taxpayers a dime."
The rest of the story October 25, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Wow,,,this is insane......the truth about Purdy will come out!
The rest of the story October 25, 2012 at 03:10 AM
The truth about Scheeler and the truth about Price will surface. Stay tuned
Concerned GT Resident October 25, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Do tell "the rest of the story". Cryptic messages give you no credibility. Now you can reply back and criticize my name as anonymous but I recognize that. So have it, speak your mind, don't hide under that rock.
Special classes October 25, 2012 at 04:23 PM
If Don Purdy gets out politics, will his brother, Purdy Mechanical still have the HVAC contract at the senior center?
Red October 25, 2012 at 05:28 PM
"With Gorman and McElwee at the helm it will be a comedy." Will it? How could it possibly be a bigger comedy than having a load like Bassford as Mayor, a weasel like Hartman, an empty head like Ullman, and DWI x 2 Hanko in office along with "I'm stealing some beer" Ackerman and Al "Dumbo" DeSimone on Council. That's the clown car that Lucarelli has driven into Galloway and put on Council and their incompetence has put the town $3 million in debt. Now she's trying to palm off John Mooney -- oh, excuse me "Chief" Mooney on the township as the next person who deserves to serve on Council! I'm sure CHIEF Pat Moran is really having fun with an ex-police chief telling him "when I was chief, we did it like this" -- only problem is that "doing it like this" got Mooney's behind booted out of AC and now he's suing AC cause his feelings are hurt. God save us from the utter stupidity that strikes the voters of Galloway when they see that R on the ballot and keep putting these misfits in office.
Red October 25, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Except in Galloway the unions haven't supported Dems and frankly any union member who supports a Republican has no clue in regard to the history of the union movement in the US and the history of the GOP in regard to the average working American who needs a union to protect him from the crap that the GOP regularly dishes at the ordinary working man and woman. One only has to look at Governor Fatboy to see who the first groups were that he attacked -- the teacher, cop and public worker union members.
smithvillian October 27, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Here is some light reading for you Amelia - http://www.terrylucarelli.com/p/criminal-history.html It's not opinion...it's not a witch hunt...it's simply just the facts. Choose your "friends" wisely I speculate you're over there at The Four Seasons. http://www.terrylucarelli.com/p/four-seasons-at-smithville.html

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