BRICK – Township councilman James Fozman will be walking away from the Democrats, switching to the GOP, he announced late Tuesday night, the latest salvo in a bitter feud between Fozman and Ducey’s Democratic establishment.
In a statement provided to Ocean County Politics by Fozman, the Brick elected official announced that he will be switching to the Republican party and severing ties with the Democrats. The switch marks the beginning of the end for single-party rule by the Democratic Party in Brick. Fozman’s switch follows tensions with party leaders that have resulted in the councilman being ostracized by his former running mates.
The Brick councilman’s switch from Democrat to Republican comes in the midst of his public endorsement of GOP U.S. Senate hopeful Bob Hugin. Earlier in the day, Mayor John Ducey responded to the Hugin endorsement by publicly attacking Fozman with allegations that the councilman sought a position as the township’s public works director, The New Jersey Globe reported.
The Globe report quoted Ducey as alleging that Fozman only wanted a job as the township’s public works director and that his endorsement of Hugin wasn’t based on principals but sour grapes for missing out on the position when the mayor said no. The councilman’s wife immediately fired back at Ducey, denying the mayor’s accusation as a “boldfaced lie.”
Alleges “Lack of Transparency” From Brick Dems
The ostracism faced by Fozman from his colleagues on the council and in the party in recent times may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back:
“The Mayor and Council’s Democratic Political Advisor [Mitch Seim] recently told me, that I am no longer invited to Political Caucus meetings, because they feel I no longer share their political philosophy,” Fozman said in a written statement.
“It became obvious that the Mayor and Council were distancing me because I was increasingly at odds with their lack of transparency, and calling them out on the lack of checks and balances,” Fozman said.
“That blatant lack of transparency is a slap in the face to Brick residents. As long as one party rules with absolute power, the people of Brick will always suffer the consequences.”
Fozman: No Room For Conservative Democrats In Current Party
The councilman was also critical of the direction that the national Democratic party has been taking, and said that he could no longer be part of a party that continues to drift further to the left.
“The Democratic Party is clear that there is no room for a Conservative Democrat, and I refuse to be part of the progressive Liberal agenda they embrace, which is so contrary to what the residents of Brick deserve,” the councilman declared.
“Unlike others, I will not walk around blindly, and following orders all the while not knowing what they do and not caring.”