Inside Ocean County Government

Brick, Election 2018, Opinion

Dougherty: Fozman Party Switch Motivated by Political Self-Interest, Not Principles

Zachary Dougherty speaks at the March For Our Lives rally earlier this year.

In the most revolutionary era that has ever gripped national politics, it would appear that Ocean County’s political foundation still remains an endless pit of lackluster. Time stands still for the towns that scatter the Jersey Shore. A collection of communities that lag behind in both a State and Nation that rely on the precipice of change.

Republicans have been in power for more than a century, with the county seat of Toms River leading as the Republican stronghold of New Jersey. Prominent families maintain a sacred power, year after year through the Board of Chosen Freeholders and various municipalities across the county. All of which revolve around the patronage jobs and positions that promulgate the control of the Gilmore machine.

Once in a blue moon, underdog Democrats gain some ground after a scandal or when taxes hit an unfathomable new high. However, like clockwork once the newly elected Democrats finally earn representation someone within the party drifts off course and serves their self interest.

Brick Councilman James Fozman

Toms River Councilman Rodrick

There’s a recurring proclivity for members of the Ocean County Democrats to cross party lines. Most recently Councilman Dan Rodrick of Toms River, and Councilman James Fozman of Brick township. Local Republicans take it as a victory, unfortunately it’s not that simple. In reality, they should caution the inclusion of those who proudly flip. It is the pressure of holding so little, that cracks at the minority.

When asking who’s to blame, one could say it is the ineptitude of the Ocean County
Democrats, or the immense influence of the Ocean County Republicans. Although both are factors, in the end it is the flawed character of those we elected to serve us. In Bricktown, far left Councilman James Fozman stood as the lone crusader for Sanders-backed Governor candidate John Wisniewski. He now leads the charge against the Brick Democrats, accusing them for attacking his conservative views. The Fozmans have previously expressed strong support for the environment, universal healthcare, gun control, DACA, and women’s reproductive rights.

Senate Candidate Hugin

Former Gov. Candidate Wisniewski

More than anything, they’ve asserted opposition to President Trump’s
administration. The endorsement of Senate Candidate Bob Hugin, stands as stark contrast to the political ideology they’ve always worn on their sleeves. More importantly it represents the sacrifice of their values for the prospect of serving themselves. Giving in to greed and abandoning their principles. All of which will consequently lead to their long term political defeat.

Failing to understand that a true leader does what is right no matter what others think, and confusing what is right with what is easy. The Brick mayor denying Fozman, the Director of Public Works was the spark that led to the separation.

The Fozmans switching parties was grounded in pernicious motive to stay alive politically. The Republicans are  now adopting a man without conviction, and the passion to do what’s necessary to survive. A tragic end to a good man once dedicated to his community and country.

Young people crave elected officials who stand up for what’s right based on principle and conviction. They look to the stars and our history, aspiring for heroes to lead them toward the best. A new generation of energized Democrats and Republicans have emerged to create real change in the nation. A generation of Bi partisanship, and broken down party politics. The apathy and ignorance of many who serve Ocean County will not be able to keep up with shaping attitude and spirit of America.

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