Independence Day 2017

MRC JULY 4 2017

One of the nicest Montclair Independence Day parades in memory took place on July 4, 2017, under perfect skies.

Pictured above are Montclair Republican Club President John Van Wagner, 34th Assembly District (NJ) candidate Nick Surgent, and his brother Mark Surgent.

Voters in the 34th Assembly District (East Orange, Orange, Montclair and Clifton) can visit with Nick on Thursday, August 3, 2017 at a private home in Montclair. Email for more information and to RSVP.

Here’s to a terrific year!






Disrupt NJ: Meet Nick [in]Surgent, Assembly Candidate in 34th AD (Montclair, Clifton, Orange, East Orange)

Come and Meet the Neighbors!  

The Montclair Republican Club and the Clifton Republican Club cordially invite all of their members, as well as friends and supporters, to our first joint meeting on Thursday, May 18  at 7:00 p.m. at the Bloomfield Town Pub.  It’s about time. 

For decades, now, Assembly elections in Essex County, so crucial to fiscal direction of our state, have come and gone under the radar. Every two years the public sector unions back entrenched incumbents who serve the interests of the progressive political class in Trenton. The result of these elections is never in doubt. 

It’s time for that to change.   This year, in honor of our first effort at District-wide club cooperation, we’ll be joined by Nick Surgent, a bold young Republican candidate for Assembly in District 34 (Montclair, Clifton, Orange and East Orange).   Please come, and get a glimpse into a brighter future for our respective communities, our State and our nation.

There’s no admission charge for this meeting.   You’re welcome to enjoy the hearty menu at the Town Pub, or just hoist a brew. Come and bring friends, and ideas about how disruptive  we inSURGENTS can be. RSVP to with ‘inSURGENT’ in the subject line.

About Nick SurgeNick Surgent Woodsnt:

Nick is a 2016 graduate of Drexel University, where he earned a BS in Business Administration, Finance and Business Analytics and graduated with a 3.9 GPA

While at Drexel, Nick worked at Goldman Sachs in Philadelphia from 2014 – 2015 in the Private Wealth Management Co-op.
Nick is currently employed as a Financial Reporting Associate at Prudential Financial.

From Nick Surgent:

I am running for the General Assembly in the 34th district (Clifton, Montclair, Orange, and East Orange). From school funding to wasteful spending and unnecessary tax increases, the people of our district deserve a new voice that has new ideas and new solutions.

This November I would be honored to have your vote, a vote for a renewed spirit and a voice for positive change.
Remember to RSVP for May 18, 7 pm at Town Pub:

Conservatives Come Together

Whether riding new waves or being old school, Montclair Republicans, conservatives, libertarians & independents are finding enjoyable ways to connect and communicate.

The 100+ year-old Montclair Republican Club believes in and maintains its century-old focus on sociable gatherings and presentations. Upcoming is a hospitable meet-and-greet on the evening of Primary Day, Tuesday, June 6, 7 pm for local Republicans, conservatives and conservative independents (and those who are transitioning from liberal to conservative) who would enjoy connecting with like-minded people at a special Montclair location (to be announced). Email to attend, with ‘June 6’ in the subject line. The success of last month’s Club luncheon featuring possible gubernatorial candidate Joe Piscopo proves the case that breaking bread together is still a favored form of bonding for conservatives and their guests. Remember to vote on June 6.


Digital media links individuals and organizations around the block and around the globe, almost effortlessly. In addition to the Montclair Republican Club’s Facebook page, similar hubs include the new discussion groups ‘Montclair Right-of-Center‘ (‘MRoC’) and ‘Montclair’s Other Watercooler,’ the latter for registered Montclair Republicans only. MRoC’s tagline is on the mark: ‘you are NOT alone!’ If you’re right of the political center, consider joining and ‘liking’ these groups and pages, especially if you DO feel ‘alone’ in your worldview as a Montclair resident.


Did you know Montclair has more than 9,000 independent voters, in addition to 13,000 Democrats and 2,500 Republicans?  No wonder the town has had the reputation of featuring 38,000 opinions: it is more diverse than suggested in chatrooms that focus on ‘progressive’ politics and ‘Montclair values.’

A new place for independents to gather is the Montclair Independents Facebook page, and it is yet to be seen if the town’s new weekly print and web publication, The Montclair Local, shows partisan stripes or merely reports on the town’s very vocal, active majority and thus appears to be left-leaning.

Mr. Piscopo and other conservative radio hosts are featured on 970 AM The Answer, while even Montclair’s mayor, Robert Jackson, listens to Mark Levin of 770 AM.  There are ample opportunities 24 / 7 to gather ’round the radio for centrist and conservative fireside chats.

A unique media product in New Jersey, the SAVE JERSEY blog appears to be the only conservative state-wide media outlet. Produced by South Jersey attorney Matt Rooney, Save Jersey is growing. [Addendum: a reader has mentioned new conservative media outlet, similar to the Drudge Report: Jersey Report]

Fifteen years ago, then-USA Today reporter Jill Lawrence created a ‘red vs. blue’ profile series featuring Montclair as a ‘liberal community’ profiled against Franklin, Tennessee as a ‘conservative community.’ Her fascinating multi-part series was proposed and researched just after the George Bush inauguration in 2001, and was interrupted by the events of 9/11. It ran in Gannett’s flagship national publication fifteen years ago, in February of 2002. Annotated syntheses for collegiate use are HERE, HERE and HERE ; click HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE to read the original stories. Real-time Free Republic comments on the series are HERE.

From where do you get your news and information? What is your viewpoint or perspective? How do you form your opinions? How have journalism, information flow and politics changed in Montclair since Ms. Lawrence’s feature of 2002? Let us know at



Joe Piscopo Headlines Lunch Meeting in Montclair

Joe Piscopo

Joe Piscopo Addresses Montclair Republican Club on Wednesday, March 29, 12 noon

Entertainer, media personality and Essex County native Joe Piscopo will be the featured speaker at Montclair Republican Club’s sociable luncheon on Wednesday, March 29, 2017.

The 12 noon event will be held at Greek Taverna Restaurant, 292 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, New Jersey. Tickets are $30 each, and can be purchased using Paypal or your credit card by clicking HERE.  A student (age 12 – 22) luncheon ticket is available for $10 by clicking HERE. For other payment arrangements, contact Space is limited; reserve early.

Piscopo is said to be entertaining a run for governor of New Jersey as an Independent. Known until recently as a life-long Democrat, Piscopo transitioned his voter registration to ‘unaffiliated’ several years ago.

The Club has asked Mr. Piscopo to speak about his political evolution and his possible run for New Jersey governor, in addition to sharing a Sinatra standard or two.

Montclair Republican Club, founded in 1880, stands for liberty, limited government, and economic opportunity. It presents informative speakers and panel discussions in a sociable luncheon or dinner setting, and welcomes convivial, open-minded individuals from across the political spectrum to attend its presentations. Montclair Republicans & supporters have included abolitionist and suffragist Lucy Stone, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Montclair’s first African-American mayor, Matthew Carter, and Montclair’s first and only female mayor, Mary Mochary, among many other business, civic and social leaders. Join the Montclair Republican Club by clicking HERE.    ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

For more information, email

More on Joe Piscopo: 

The Road Ahead: Leadership Messages from Straten & Van Wagner

To Montclair Republicans,


Roland Straten

2016 was certainly a momentous year for Republicans, who now control both houses of Congress and a majority of state governorships and legislatures, in addition to the U.S. Presidency. We have an unprecedented opportunity to move America in the direction that we want it to go, and ‘Make America Great Again.’

This confluence of events presents not only an opportunity, but a duty for all Republicans and reasonably-minded citizens of Montclair. I suggest that we continue to come out of the closet. So many people with whom I’ve spoken agree with our principles of limited government, economic opportunity, and personal liberty/responsibility.

Come to Republican Club meetings and events, and join the Club. Become a Republican Committee member. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind.

Tell people that Montclair was made into such a wonderful town by Republicans. Tell them that overreaching government regulation and mandates cripple our economy. Tell them that our current immigration policies, tax policies, welfare policies, education policies, environmental policies and bail-out-Wall-Street policies hurt the poor and middle class rather than help them.

For more information on what Republicans can do in Montclair, email

Happy New Year…and let’s get to work!

Roland Straten, Chairman, Montclair Republican Town Committee

A Message from Montclair Republican Club President John Van Wagner:

It Was A Year to Remember


John Van Wagner

Although 2016 was a year of multiple surprises and many blessings, my thoughts are firmly in the future. There are so many opportunities before us in the coming year as conservatives, and the Montclair Republican Club has a crucial role to play in our community as the nation undergoes a radical transformation.

We’ve always been a ‘safe space’ for those in our town who’ve felt silenced. But now that a shift in power has taken hold nation-wide, we, too, can throw off Progressivism at the county and local levels.

After the recent election, local Democratic Freeholder Brendan Gill pledged to work with his colleagues in Newark and Trenton to ‘protect’ our community from the ‘incursion’ of lighter, saner taxation, regulatory relief, and judicial restraint. This year, let’s show him that we consider that ‘protection’ to be tyranny, and that we won’t allow a county political machine to dictate who governs us and how.

As has been for the past fifty years, this is an uphill battle. But the events of this year must embolden us to speak out, to talk to neighbors, to bring new members into the fold who will help us to accelerate the process of the change we so desperately need. It’s not easy, but this time the country is behind us.

Let’s have the most energized and hopeful New Year the Montclair Republicans have had in a long, long time.

Thanks for your support and dedication. Happy New Year.

Very truly yours,

John Van Wagner

Gather ‘Round on December 8, 7 pm

Review the 2016 election cycle, results, and look forward to 2017 and beyond. Join in a Montclair Republican Club sociable dinner at Greek Taverna, 292 Bloomfield Avenue (Montclair) on Thursday, December 8, 2016, 7 pm. Click HERE to use Paypal &/or credit card to reserve your place ($35/pp), or email to make alternate payment arrangements.


Author & Entrepreneur Israel Vicente

The December 8 meeting provides a chance for enjoyable conversation and reflection among members and friends of the Montclair Republican Club, with a presentation by Mr. Israel Vicente as a central point of reference. Vicente, a technology entrepreneur, author, and New Jersey resident, will discuss his book For the People – Time to Take Our Country Back.

Israel, founder of GCS, a successful global IT consulting firm, is an avid reader, world traveler, and researcher. In his role as CEO of GCS, Israel has had the opportunity to speak to many people of all income levels throughout the U.S. and abroad, giving him a firsthand perspective of their experiences, successes, and hardships.

In 2013, he decided to dedicate any spare time he could find to becoming a published author. On long-distance flights to visit with customers, he replaced the previously customary glass or two of wine with a pen and a notebook. In 2014, he published two well-received nonfiction books, The Courage to Be Different and Divergent Lives.

Israel has always been interested in politics and how it impacts the lives of people everywhere. The lead-up to the 2016 presidential contest served as inspiration for his third book, For the PeopleTime to Take Our Country Back! He lives in New Jersey with his wife and children.

Join in for a very sociable evening: click HERE to reserve your place at dinner on Thursday, December 8.

Are you interested in joining the Montclair Republican Club? Explore this website, and email for more information.


Trump vs. Clinton, 2016

And the gates came crashing down. 

As Republicans we’ve held disparate, and often divisive, views of our President-Elect.   But we can, I hope, agree that last night’s stunning victory has restored the power of the American people, against all possible odds, and has destroyed the notion that faceless, soulless political machines rule our lives.  
Much has been and will be written about the night of Tuesday, 11/8, 2016.  On the morning after, it likely still seems unreal to many of us.   But while we process these events, let’s take one lesson from them, as Montclarians:   the impossible became reality for our country.   The ruling class rules no more.   As it happened for the nation, so it can for Montclair.   It’s up to us.
Savor the victory!   And then let’s continue to work together to bring power back to the people right here where we live.  
John Van Wagner, Montclair Republican Club President
montclair map with heart small

Montclair Republican Committee Endorses Donald Trump

Dear Montclair Republican,

The Montclair Republican County Committee voted to endorse Donald Trump and the entire Republican line this election.  We encourage you to vote Republican.

Three reasons to vote Republican:

Health Care

Our health care system, while it could be the best in the world, is being hogtied by Democrats.  Their objective is socialized medicine (they call it public option or single payer to confuse people).  They knew Obamacare was flawed.  Their next step is to declare Obamacare a failure and say that we must replace it with socialized medicine.  Hillary Clinton was an early architect of this plan.


Regardless of what Hillary Clinton says, she will increase the size of government by increasing both taxes and spending.  Somehow, the tax-the-rich schemes always end up taxing the middle class.


The Democrats have continually advocated and enacted into law more and more unreasonable regulations that hamper economic growth and are a major burden on business and ordinary citizens, preventing economic growth.

There are many more reasons to vote Republican, but these three alone should be persuasive.

Guiding Principles

Montclair Republicans stand for limited government, personal liberty/responsibility, and economic opportunity.  Our core values align with those of the Republican Party in 2016. For more information, see the Republican Party platform at[1]-ben_1468872234.pdf

Montclair Republican County Committee
Roland Straten, Town Chair


Native Intelligence: Steve Rogers of Nutley, Navy & Fox News Visits Montclair Republican Club

Club Hosts Navy Intelligence Analyst Steve Rogers: Tuesday, October 4, 7 pm

steve-rogersReserve Your Dinner Meeting Ticket Now: Nutley Town Commissioner, U.S. Air Force & Navy veteran, Fox  News analyst and Trump campaign advisor Steve Rogers will address the Montclair Republican Club on Tuesday, October 4, 7 pm. We’ll return to Greek Taverna (292 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair) for yet another terrific gathering ($35/pp). Purchase your ticket using Paypal, debit or credit card by clicking HERE or send your RSVP to to arrange payment.

This election-season meeting is a great opportunity to introduce your sociable friends, neighbors and your family’s young adults to the Montclair Republican Club. See you on the 4th.

See and hear Commissioner Rogers in a 2015 interview on the subjects of ISIS and terrorism by clicking HERE.


Presidential Debate-Viewing Party: Monday, Sept 26, 8:30 pm

Debate-Viewing Party on September 26, 8:30 pm

Join in sociably with the Montclair Republican Club for a Debate-Viewing Party on Monday, September 26, 2016, 8:30 pm. Town Pub of Bloomfield (378 Broad Street at Pitt Street) will again be the location for the first presidential debate of the season. Order what you’d like off the menu…space limited. RSVP by email to

Club Hosts Navy Intelligence Analyst Steve Rogers: Tuesday, October 4, 7 pm

steve-rogersReserve Your Dinner Meeting Ticket Now: Nutley Town Commissioner, Navy veteran and Trump campaign advisor Steve Rogers will address the Montclair Republican Club on Tuesday, October 4, 7 pm. We’ll return to Greek Taverna (292 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair) for yet another terrific gathering ($35/pp). Purchase your ticket using Paypal by clicking HERE or send your RSVP to to arrange payment.

Both events are great opportunities to introduce a friend, neighbor or your family’s young adults to the Montclair Republican Club. See you on the 26th and on the 4th.