BRICK – Lifelong conservative Democrat James Fozman announced on Tuesday that he is leaving the Democratic Party and Brick Democrat organization and registered himself as a Republican.
Fozman cited the Democratic party’s radical shift to the far left in recent years among one of his reasons for the change. Fozman, who was regularly at odds with his former fellow Democrats on progressive matters has been engaged in a struggle to keep the Brick Democrat Club from implementing the party’s far left progressive doctrine in his own hometown.
“My values and principles are shared with the people of Brick, and have always been fiscally and socially conservative, and more in line with the Republican Party,” he admitted Tuesday night.
Fozman took aim at the Brick Democrat’s allegiance to tax and spend New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and Robert Menendez, the disgraced New Jersey senator, both Democrats.
“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,” he said. “Unlike others, I will not walk around blindly, and following orders all the while not knowing what they do and not caring.”
“There is a trend here in Brick, of the Democratic Party letting the people down. As a result of that let down, I am announcing my upcoming switch to the Republican Party,” he added.
Last month, despite endorsing and supporting Governor Phil Murphy in 2017 at municipal and school board levels, the Brick Township school district was hit with a $1.1 million state aid cut.
Fozman referred to a now famous quoted by the late President Ronald Reagan, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me.”
While serving as a council member in Brick, in recent months, Fozman has urged Mayor John Ducey and his fellow councilmembers to return transparency back to the township government.
“My values and principles have always been in line with the residents of Brick, and I have always held true to the ethical obligations I have been sworn to,” he added. “The lack of Transparency and silencing of any dissent, concerns or discussions in public is alarming, and is one of the reasons I ran for public office. “
Fozman griped, saying Ducey and his political allies are, “Making up the rules as they go along, is not the way good government should be run.”
He also blamed the involvement and meddling of Mitch Siem, the political strategist and consulting that orchestrated the “Clean Slate” Democratic takeovers of the Brick Township council, Brick School Board, Toms River School Board and the election of 3 Democrats in Toms River in 2017.
“The Mayor and Council’s Democratic political advisor recently told me, that I am no longer invited to Political Caucus meetings, because they feel I no longer share their political philosophy,” he said about Siem who has ties politically to the New Jersey Democratic political machine. “For the past 2 ½ years as it became increasingly evident that my colleagues moved further to the left, and aligned their philosophies with those of the Hillary Clinton Democrats. I represent the residents of Brick, not the political views of the Mayor, Council or the political advisors.”
He said his goal and promise to the residents of Brick, has always been about representing the local community, not a larger national political agenda that has become increasingly progressive and divisive in recent years.
“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,” he 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’s switch from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party follows a similar switch in nearby Toms River Township where Democratic Councilman Daniel Rodrick announced his abandonment of the Democratic Party earlier this year.