Stafford Mayor Spodofora Quits Republican Club and Endorses Democrat Joe Mangino for Mayor

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opens in a new windowBy Pat Sharkey – – Stafford Mayor Spodofora Quits Republican Club and Endorses Democrat Joe Mangino for Mayor

STAFFORD – Stafford Township Mayor John Spodofora resigned this past week as a member of the Township Republican Club and he has endorsed Democratic mayoral candidate Joe Mangino.

Mangino represents the Focus on Stafford Democratic slate of candidates.

The Regular Republican team of candidates led by Spodofora included a slate with most of the town’s current council members.

They were defeated by the “Republican Conservatives” in June.

Greg Myhre is the mayoral candidate and leader of that team. Myhre will compete against Democratic candidate Joe Mangino next month.

In his resignation to the Stafford Regular Republican Club he wrote to Republican Club President Richard Carlson:

“I have come to realize after much thought, that staying neutral would not be fair to either myself or the people of Stafford Township. The act of staying neutral indicates that as a member of the Stafford Regular Republican Club I am supporting the local Republican candidates…. I simply cannot stay neutral nor can I belong to a club that supports these candidates.  It pains me to resign from the club after over 30 years, however I feel it would not be fair to either myself or the Club to remain a member.

I remain proud of the accomplishments I have been part of while in office, I am proud of the residents of Stafford who always volunteer to help others, this is truly a great community, I love the town and the people who call Stafford home. I have a saying I always use “having knowledge leads to responsibility, and responsibility requires action.”

Simply put, based on my knowledge I feel responsible to Stafford to not stay neutral on this election, or give the impression that I support these local Republican candidates by remaining a member of the Republican club.

Some will try to say this is simply sour grapes for losing the primary election. I can assure there are no sour grapes, this is simply me doing what I feel is right.

In a second letter addressed to the Stafford community, Spodofora shares some detail of his support of Mangino. Spodofora wrote:

As many of you know I lost the Republican Primary in Stafford by a very slim margin. However, I have a strong commitment and love for Stafford Township. This is the place where I grew up and a community that I have been proud to serve over the past 30 plus years. I want Stafford to continue to be the great community that it is and has a quality of life second to none, and for that reason I am writing to endorse Joe Mangino to be the next Mayor of Stafford Township. I won’t be on the ballot for re-election in November, but Joe will be, and I plan to vote for him. I hope all of you who have supported me in the past will put party lines aside and vote for the best person for Stafford – Joe Mangino.

Together as a community we have faced many challenges, perhaps none as serious as Superstorm Sandy, one of the first citizens to step up to help the thousands of people in despair who lost so much was Joe.

Although Joe’s own home was severely damaged by the Storm, he put his own needs aside to help form a group of volunteers to help those in need, with hammer in hand he and his volunteers moved through the community, cleaning up debris, having materials donated, and helping those in need to rebuild. It has been said that “adversity does not build character, it reveals it”, and Joe is a prime example of demonstrating good character, and a commitment toward the people of Stafford. I worked closely with Joe and his team, his desire to help others above himself continues today, he is the right person to move Stafford forward. Unlike his opponents Joe is not part of any political machine and will always put the people and needs of Stafford first. For these reasons I am endorsing Joe Mangino, a man with a long record of service to Stafford.

I am proud of my administration’s accomplishments in many areas, including the growth of our youth recreation leagues, our efforts to upgrade our parks, preserve our environment, and protect our senior communities. To provide these services while keeping taxes stable has been my greatest accomplishment.

I offered to meet with both Mayoral candidates to bring them up to speed with the complex issues of running a Town. Only Joe met with me and during that meeting he continued to impress me as someone who has the management and leadership skills and is running for office for all the right reasons. I am confident he will always put the needs of Stafford first.

Some people may be surprised that as a lifelong Republican, I am endorsing a Democrat. But party labels have never mattered to me on the local level. I want the best person for our town, and this year, Joe is the best candidate for Mayor. His focus is not on partisan or national issues, but on what we need here in Stafford.

Joe is deeply involved in our town in many areas. He started a recreation sports league for girls’ field hockey, owns his own small business here in town and is well known for his volunteer activities. As the President of New Jersey Organizing Project, he helped Sandy victims with rental assistance, foreclosure protections, and insurance issues. It did not surprise me that Joe was the 2013 Martin Truex Jr. Humanitarian of the Year.

I would be honored to work with Joe, and together, continue our service to Stafford.”

Changes are coming to Stafford Township.  Residents will have the opportunity to vote in the election on Tuesday, November 6.