Scott Rumana is stepping down as chairman of the Passaic County Regular Republican Organization at the end of his term in June.
Former Ringwood Mayor Scott Heck is slated to take over as chairman upon Rumana’s departure. Rumana represents the 40th Legislative District in the state Assembly and was mayor of from 2002 to 2007.
“With a chairmanship, there’s always a right time to move to a new leader and we’ve clearly reached that point,” Rumana said.
Rumana, who has served two, three-year terms in the leadership position, said that the move will allow the Republican Party in Passaic County to be more unified as it battles for spots on the Passaic County Freeholder Board and strengthens the party’s position within the county. Support within the party has been split during Rumana’s tenure between him and former chairman Peter Murphy.
“The goal of stopping the infighting in our party is one that needed to be done and we’ve reached the point where that can happen now,” Rumana said.
Rumana said the GOP is in a better position now than it was when he took over as chairman in 2006.
“Having brought the party back from multiple years of losses, both on the county level as well as many Passaic County municipalities, I’m satisfied that we’ve accomplished many positive goals for the party over the last six years and provided a solid basis for future Republican victories," Rumana said. “Thankfully, Scott has accepted the challenge and I’m sure with the support of the rest of the Passaic County leadership will be working with me as our new chairman to continue the work we began six years ago.”
Rumana and Heck have worked closely together for several years to strengthen the Republican Party in Passaic County. Rumana said he has spoken with Heck “a number of times” within the past year about transitioning into the position of leadership but that “real intense work” on the move only happened in the previous month.
“I look forward to tackling the challenges of leading the Republican Organization in a county that has changed demographically over the past decade,” Heck said in a statement. “I want to strengthen our municipal organizations and broaden the appeal of the Republican Party to the taxpayers and residents in all 16 towns in the county.”
Heck, 49, is the manager of Ringwood. He was on the Ringwood borough council for 12 years. He also served two years as deputy mayor and two as mayor.
“I do this very happily, not with regret,” Rumana said. “We’re doing this from a position of strength.”