Richford, a Hamilton attorney and former county surrogate candidate, will serve as chairwoman until July 2014, replacing former chairman Rich Levesque, who resigned effective Dec. 4.
"My pledge is to win the hearts and minds of the voters of Mercer County," Richford said today. "The organization is moving forward. We're bringing in people, old and new, who want to be involved."
She had served as the committee's vice chairwoman since July 2012, a position that will be filled at a future meeting, Richford said.
Richford comes into office after an election that saw Republican candidates lose election or re-election throughout the county.
While Hamilton and Hopewell Township voters re-elected Republican candidates to office, Hightstown residents voted out two Republican councilwomen, and candidates in East Windsor, Princeton and Lawrence ran unsuccessful election bids. Republican freeholder and 14th District legislative candidates also lost their election bids.
Richford said future candidates could follow the Hamilton Republicans' lead, coming together and working "on the same page.
"They worked as a team and their goals were altruistic for the community to be successful as a whole," Richford said. "That team checked their ego at the door, were hardworking and looked out for the residents' best interests. That formula works, looking at best interests instead of self-interests."
Despite the election, Richford said the campaign season re-energized the committee that dealt with infighting -- including rumors of a vote to usurp Levesque's chairmanship -- and bleeding finances. At one point, the committee owed nearly $1,000 in utility bills and rent and had raised only $1,000, according to reports filed with the Election Law Enforcement Commission.
"They all came together. The elections were a really good springboard for us to move forward and increase membership," Richford said. "Somebody asked me the other day when we get started. But we haven't stopped and we're already moving toward 2014."
Contact Mike Davis at (609) 989-5708 or email@example.com.
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