UPDATED: Schick joins county commissioner board

SPARTA. Republicans also choose Billy Marotta-LaRegina, 19, to represent Sussex County on the State Republican Committee.

| 06 Feb 2024 | 06:31

Earl Schick, owner of a small business in Byram, was chosen to replace Dawn Fantasia on the Sussex County Board of County Commissioners during a meeting of the Sussex County Republican Committee on Saturday, Feb. 3.

The meeting at Sussex Technical High School in Sparta was open to all registered Republicans but only members of the county GOP committee could vote.

Committee members also selected Billy Marotta-LaRegina, 19, to represent Sussex County on the State Republican Committee. He will be the youngest member of the state committee.

Marotta-LaRegina, who has been chairman of the Sussex County Young Republicans, will serve until June 3, 2025. He replaces Nicholas D’Agostino, who resigned in the fall.

Jill Space, director of the Board of County Commissioners, also represents Sussex County on the state committee, which has one woman and one man from each county in New Jersey.

Schick credited his selection to his work campaigning for the job. “Four months on the phone, meets-and-greets ... this is absolutely a result of all the hard work. I made at least two calls to everyone on the list. If I didn’t see them personally, I made a third call.”

He also visited local Republican clubs and attended various municipal reorganization meetings.

He defeated Alan Henderson, mayor of Lafayette.

Schick will serve the rest of Fantasia’s term, which ends Dec. 31. He said he plans to run in the June 4 Republican primary for a full three-year term.

Fantasia resigned from the board Jan. 9 to take a seat in the state Assembly after she was elected to that job in November.

Marotta-LaRegina said this is his first elective office. “I’m excited and I’m ready to get to work.”

He was selected over Jonathan Rose, a former county freeholder and Sussex Borough mayor and council member.

Chairman’s report

Sussex County Republican Committee chairman Joe Labarbera said GOP voter turnout in the county increased 8 percent in 2023 but the party can do better.

Only one town council and two school boards in Sussex County are not dominated by Republicans, he noted.

The county party’s focus this year will be on funding in order to build a campaign war chest for the 2025 governor’s race, he said.

Labarbera also said the party will try to use volunteers for as many jobs as possible. “The days of consultants driving our party are over.”

Committee vice chairwoman Barbara Holstein said a “Toast to Lincoln” is planned from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18 at the Irish Cottage in Franklin. Tickets are $25.