EAST BRUNSWICK – Mayor David Stahl, re-elected last November as a Democrat, announced Tuesday that he is switching political parties and will run for the state Senate this year as a Republican.
“The entrenched party machine in Middlesex County has created gridlock in Trenton and seems to care more about handing out taxpayer funded jobs to contributors and insiders than providing jobs and tax relief to middle class taxpayers and small businesses,” said Stahl. “My record in East Brunswick is a great example of what both parties can accomplish when they work together.”
“David has consistently shown himself to be a pragmatic reformer who has always displayed leadership and resolve as Mayor of East Brunswick, regardless of the party with which he was affiliated,” said Gov. Chris Christie. “The stark contrast between Washington and New Jersey is that we have leaders here who actually get things done without regard for partisan politics, and I look forward to working with David, as Trenton is in dire need of more voices from bipartisan fiscal leaders as we continue the fight to move New Jersey forward.”
Carteret Mayor and Middlesex County Democratic Organization Treasurer Dan Reiman called Stahl’s decision “thinly veiled political opportunism.”
“Even as he ran for reelection last year in the same column as President Obama and with the support of the East Brunswick Democrats and the Middlesex County Democratic Organization, Mayor Stahl was secretly meeting with Governor Christie at the RNC in a display of self-promotion,” Reiman said. “As someone who was elected on three separate occasions as a Democrat in East Brunswick, Mayor Stahl will certainly have some explaining to do to his constituents who thought they were electing someone who shared their values, only to be betrayed barely four months after his reelection.”
“The challenges we face are much bigger than two parties,” said Stahl. “Across our district, shopping centers remain vacant, businesses struggle to stay afloat and families continue to suffer the immense burden of high property taxes. Together, we need to make tough decisions and work with Governor Christie to tap the full potential New Jersey has to offer. I look forward to putting my bi-partisan record of success to work for the people of the 18th district.”
New Jersey’s 18th Legislative district is located in Middlesex County and includes the municipalities of East Brunswick, Edison, Helmetta, Highland Park, Metuchen, South Plainfield and South River. Democrat Barbara Buono currently represents the district in the state Senate, but she is running for the governor’s office and is not seeking re-election.