LITTLE EGG HARBOR – After having her membership in the Great Bay Democratic Club revoked, Township Committeewoman Lisa Stevens has changed her party affiliation to become a Republican, public records revealed.
Earlier in 2017, Stevens showed up at a meeting of the Great Bay Democratic Club and attempted to submit a check to pay outstanding and current membership dues in order to maintain her membership in the club, Democratic sources revealed.
After the conclusion of the March meeting of the Great Bay Democratic Club, a quorum of the club’s membership that was asked to stay after the meeting by club leadership, namely the club president, Committeeman Dave Schlick, voted to decline to accept the dues payment submitted by Stevens and cancel her membership in the club. Following the vote of club members, the check was voided and mailed back to Stevens.
In the weeks that followed that vote, Stevens changed her party affiliation to become a member of the Republican Party. A review of public records on file with the Ocean County Board of Elections confirmed Tuesday that Stevens is now listed in the county voter rolls as being affiliated with the Republicans.
Stevens, after being spotted by sources meeting with Republican officials in the past, has apparently been welcomed by the township GOP with open arms, with Stevens having been seen at a recent meeting of Little Egg Harbor’s Republican club.
In a 2015 upset victory, Stevens, then a Democrat, was elected with her then-running mate, Committeeman Dave Schlick. During the tenure of both on the Little Egg Harbor Township Committee, relations between Schlick and Stevens quickly soured and Democratic leaders distanced themselves from Stevens. At one point, Stevens forced the cancellation of a township committee meeting for lack of a quorum when she walked out of the room rather than sit at the dais while Schlick presided over the meeting.
Stevens is not the first Little Egg Harbor elected official to switch parties while still in office. Last year, then-mayor Gene Kobryn, who was originally elected to the governing body as a Republican, unsuccessfully ran for reelection as a Democrat after the Republican Club revoked his membership.
Aside from the departure of Stevens, ongoing tensions between factions have left the current club and 2017 slate of candidates fractured, amid outside pressure being exerted on the club from a Republican attorney and two local school board members.