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Hudson County GOP Chair Chastised For 'Sexist' Comments

Democratic leaders chided Joseph Arango for his comments following Barbara Buono's selection of Milly Silva as her running mate.

State Sen. Barbara Buono (top center) and Milly Silva (at podium) in this file photo.
State Sen. Barbara Buono (top center) and Milly Silva (at podium) in this file photo.

Derogatory comments by the head of the Hudson County Republican party about Sen. Barbara Buono’s pick for a running mate have drawn calls for his resignation and swift condemnation from women leaders statewide, including at least one U.S. Senate candidate.

In an interview with PolitickerNJ.com, Hudson County Republican Chairman Jose Arango condemned Buono’s pick of labor leader Milly Silva.

"Poor thing," Arango told politickernj.com, according to the site. "It's like picking my secretary. She's a very nice person. The union likes her, but even in the union she's vice president. ... Look, she's a great person, but they just picked her because they couldn’t find anyone else. No one knows Milly."

Buono, who called on Gov. Chris Christie to ask for Arango’s resignation, swiftly denounced the comments as sexist. 

"Jose Arango's wildly sexist statements are an insult to accomplished women everywhere who deserve to be treated with dignity and respect," Buono said in a statement. "I urge Governor Christie to demand the immediate resignation of Jose Arango and make clear such outrageous attacks have no place in his campaign."

And Sheila Oliver, state Assembly Speaker and Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, in a statement released Wednesday afternoon also called the comments "inappropriate" and "sexist" and demanded Arango apologize.

"Sadly this kind of backward thinking is rampant in the Republican Party in our state and throughout the country and it underscores the need for strong women to continue pushing forward into elected office at all levels of government," Oliver said in the statement.

And in a letter to Christie, 25 influential women, including state Senators, assemblywomen and other local and state leaders pressed Christie to publicly ask Arango to resign.

Below are the signatories of the letter:

  • Loretta Weinberg, Senate Majority Leader
  • Nia Gill, Senate President Pro Tempore
  • Nellie Pou, Senator
  • Teresa Ruiz, Senator
  • Bonnie Watson Coleman, Assemblywoman & Buono for Governor Campaign Chair
  • Marlene Caride, Assemblywoman
  • Valerie Vanieri Huttle, Assemblywoman
  • Mila Jasey, Assemblywoman
  • Angelica Jiminez, Assemblywoman
  • Pamela Lampitt, Assemblywoman & Chairwoman of the Assembly Women & Children Committee
  • Annette Quijano, Assemblywoman
  • Celeste Riley, Assemblywoman
  • Grace Spencer, Assemblywoman
  • Linda Stender, Assemblywoman
  • Shavonda Sumter, Assemblywoman
  • Connie Wagner, Assemblywoman
  • Nancee May, President of the New Jersey Federation of Democratic Women
  • Amy Papi, 2nd Vice President of the New Jersey Federation Democratic Women
  • Peg Schaffer, Somerset County Democratic Chairwoman
  • Liz Muoio, Mercer County Democratic Chairwoman
  • Lauren Murphy, President of the Women Empowered Democratic Organization of Passaic County, and Clifton Democratic Chairwoman
  • Kathy Makowski, President of the Middlesex County Federation of Democratic Women
  • Red Bank Councilwoman Kathy Horgan & Retha Onitiri, Co-Chairs of the Monmouth County Democratic Women’s Caucus
  • Leslie Huhn, Chair of the Sussex County Women’s Caucus
  • Jamie Lombardi, Executive Director of the Sussex County Women’s Caucus

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