Webber Looks Ahead to Convention and Change

26th District legislator says transitioning after the loss of DeCroce is 'difficult and unpleasant.'

The to fill the seat left vacant by the .  

One of the GOP leaders awaiting the event being held at the Zeris Inn in Mountain Lakes is the late lawmaker's colleague, district office mate and friend—a man in mourning yet moving forward—Assemblyman Jay Webber.

In addition to dealing with the personal loss of DeCroce, Webber also faces a move to new district offices. Because of redistricting, Whippany is no longer part of the 26th District, which means the DeCroce/Webber suite of offices on Route 10 will have to move. He said Parsippany sites are among those being considered.

Right now, Webber said, it's about taking things one at a time.

"The transition that we have to make with the loss of Assemblyman DeCroce is difficult and unpleasant, and still very much in flux," Webber said. "Now we're moving past the point where we've laid him to rest, and we're helping his staff and his family deal with it.

"Our transition in the office is now on hold until we see what happens with the assemblyman's vacancy, depending on who wins the county convention on Wednesday evening. That might affect where the office is placed and what kind of accommodations we seek."

Three candidates have announced an interest in filling the vacant seat. One of the hopefuls is Betty Lou DeCroce, deputy commissioner of the state Department of Community Affairs and the wife of the man who held the chair for more than two decades.

"I count myself as one of the leading ," Webber said. "I've known Betty Lou for a long time and she is a smart, capable woman who I think is more qualified today to serve in the assembly than Alex DeCroce was 23 years ago, and Alex was a great member of the assembly and very qualified when he started."

Among the leaders who support keeping a DeCroce in the seat are Parsippany Mayor James Barberio and Township Councilman Michael dePierro.

Asked why , Webber cited DeCroce's experience as a Parsippany realtor and businesswoman, plus her government resume, which includes work on the local and state levels.

"Her public sector work is varied and vast, and there are contributions she can make immediately on the local government issues that we face," he said. "Plus... she has tremendous private sector experience. She has a great mix of skills and experience. She's obviously very tough. And she's passionate about what she does, about [continuing] what Alex did for the state." 

Two other candidates have announced an interest in vying for the unexpired term: and . There is history between Casha and Webber: In 2007, the two faced off in the race for the 26th District assembly seat, won by Webber.

The assemblyman said he will work side-by-side with whichever candidate wins DeCroce's seat at the convention.

"We would have to work collaboratively for the good of the constituents, and we actually would," Webber said. "At the end of the day, you put politics aside and serve the public, and that's what we would do."

This post is shared across Patch sites serving communities in the 26th District. Comments below may be by readers of any of those Patch sites.

Tom Wyka January 24, 2012 at 03:29 PM
"Mr. William", If the decision-making amongst the electorate runs along the lines of Mr. Lawrence above - it appears there is a large "education gap" there that needs to be overcome before folks start voting for better government instead of the same old folks that do not ultimately have the best interests of the citizens in mind. I have quite a solid basis for my dissension in these matters sir, and would be happy to have a respectful discussion of them at any time. (Anyone that takes a few moments to read the above articles will see a great example of it there). Thanks for you input as well!
Dan Grant January 24, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Mr. William and how many times have you stood up and put your full name on a ballot or even a post for that matter. You don't have to stand tall but you do have to stand up. Thank God for people willing to put themselves out in the election arena win or lose. Send me your e-mail and I will send you a copy of Teddy Roosevelt's Man in the Arena.
Kparent June 16, 2012 at 04:47 AM
Frank L June 16, 2012 at 01:13 PM
What you call the brave man standing up for what he believes in and putting hs name on a ballot, others call an idiot screaming into the wind. The crazy guy that yells at me every time I take the path isn't brave, just crazy and a waste to listen to
Dan Grant June 16, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Hey Frank, If all politics is local so is all corruption. Maybe the "Crazy guy" who looks at you in the mirror everyday for not paying attention to it or worse yet justifying it for the sake of ideaology. The Republican Party in Morris has it's share of wrong doing.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »