2022 Statewide Leadership Summit

Friday, March 25 – Saturday, March 26
Harrah’s Atlantic City


Online ticket sales for the NJGOP’s 5th Annual Statewide Leadership Summit have ended. Tickets will be available for purchase at registration beginning at 1:00 PM on Friday, March 25th.


Keynote Speaker Dr. Ben Carson
Dr. Carson is a world-renowned neurosurgeon, best-selling author, 2020 Presidential candidate and served as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Secretary during the Trump Administration.


Schedule of Events

*Asterisks denote events occurring concurrently to each other

Friday, March 25th:

Registration opens

Summit kicks off, opening remarks from Chairman Bob Hugin & Executive Director Tom Szymanski

Title: “Winning on All Fronts”

Description: How to use top of the line data and analytics to implement robust grassroots efforts on voter registration, vote by mail, early voting and election day GOTV.

Title: “Restoring Law & Order”

Description: A summation of the devastating effects of Joe Biden’s & Phil Murphy’s anti-law enforcement policies and how to message on these issues in 2022 & 2023. (This will include GOP sheriffs and elected officials w/law enforcement experience)

*3:30PM-4:30PM: Vote by Mail, Early Voting, Voter Reg. & Election Integrity Training Seminar

Title: “Turning the Tide: Recapping our 2021 Successes and the Lessons we can Apply Moving Forward”

Description: In this panel, attendees will hear from GOP legislative leaders and some of the candidates who scored upset victories in a year which saw 8 seat flips in the State Legislature and over 100 seat flips in local races.

Jack Ciattarelli Thank You Remarks

Leaders’ Cocktail Reception, Sponsored & Hosted by Republican Senate Leader Steve Oroho & Assembly Republican Leader John DiMaio

Young GOP Leaders’ Happy Hour

Saturday, March 26th:

BLEXIT Breakfast Reception, Wildwood Rooms 12-13

Registration opens

Complimentary Coffee and Bagels in Conference Lobby

Title: “Saving Our Kids’ Education”

Description: Here from some of New Jersey’s top education activists on the top educational issues our state is facing: including parental rights, school curriculum, fixing our public schools and offering more choices for private, charter and parochial schools.

Title: Republican Women: Leading our Party Forward

Description: Hear from some of the top women in our Party both in elected office, and those who work to recruit, elect and empower Republican women behind the scenes.

*10:15AM-11:15AM: Data & Digital Training Seminar

Title: “Hot Button Issues & The Grassroots”

Description: Hear from some of the top conservative New Jersey media voices about the message voters sent in 2021 and how to harness that energy in 2022 and 2023.

Speakers’ Series Luncheon

  • 1:00PM-1:10PM Welcome Remarks From Chairman Bob Hugin
  • 1:10PM-1:20PM Congressman Chris Smith
  • 1:20PM-1:30PM Congressman Jeff Van Drew
  • 1:30PM-1:40PM Senator Tom Kean
  • 1:40PM-2:00PM Keynote Speaker Dr. Ben Carson

Title: “What the Voters are Telling Us: How to Win in New Jersey 2022 and Beyond”

Description: A two-part discussion beginning with a synopsis of the results of a statewide poll commissioned by the NJGOP and conducted by Brock McCleary of Cygnal Polling, followed by reaction on how to interpret those result from top political operatives.

Title: “Expanding the Big Tent: Building a Broad Coalition of Voters and Honing our Message and Tactics to Appeal to all New Jerseyans”

Description: As Republicans in a state that leans left, it is imperative that we implement both effective messaging and organizational strategies to broaden the appeal of the Republican Party and win over voters across a broad spectrum of geographies, interests and backgrounds.

Title: “Securing the Vote- Ensuring the Integrity of the Election Process”

Description: A review of best practices pertaining to election integrity, including recruitment for both poll workers and challengers, legal do’s and don’t’s, and rules/regulations of vote-by-mail and early voting.


Confirmed Speakers

Congressman Chris Smith
For the last three plus decades, Congressman Chris Smith has been an unparalleled advocate for life, human rights and conservative New Jersey values in Washington. Congressman Smith’s office is routinely ranked as having one of the best constituent service records in the country.

Congressman Jeff Van Drew
Congressman Van Drew of New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District famously left the Democratic Party in 2019 to join the GOP has since been a stalwart champion of conservative, New Jersey values which has helped lead the Republican resurgence in New Jersey.

Senate Republican Leader Steve Oroho
Republican Senate Minority Leader who is leading the charge to take back the Republican majority in the State Senate in 2023.

Assembly Republican Leader John DiMaio
Republican Assembly Minority Leader who is leading the charge to take back the Republican majority in the State Assembly in 2023.

Senator Tom Kean, Jr.

As New Jersey’s State Senate Republican Leader for 14 years, few people in our state have led the charge to defeat Democrats and make New Jersey safer and more affordable as much as Senator Kean has. Tom Kean is now running for Congress in New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District and is fighting to unseat scandal-plagued radical Tom Malinowski.

Jack Ciattarelli
As the 2021 Republican Gubernatorial Nominee, Jack Ciattarelli held Phil Murphy accountable for his many failures and led the GOP ticket to hundreds of Republican victories across the state.

Senator Ed Durr
Newly elected Senator whose stunning upset defeated then-Senate President Steve Sweeney in New Jersey’s 3rd Legislative District in 2021.

Monmouth County Clerk Christine Giordano Hanlon
As the Monmouth County Clerk and Strategic Advisor to the New Jersey Republican Party, Christine’s strategic insights and expertise in the areas of vote by mail, early voting and election integrity are leading the charge to making our Party competitive up and down the ticket and in all areas of the state.

NJGOP Vice-Chair Darlene Shotmeyer
Darlene Shotmeyer was elected Vice Chairwoman of the NJGOP on June 23, 2021. Darlene was elected as Bergen County State Committeewoman in 2013. As a lifelong resident of NJ she has worked tirelessly raising support and reaching fundraising goals for many Republican candidates throughout the state.

RNC National Committeewoman/Ocean County Commissioner Ginny Haines
Virginia Haines has served as New Jersey National Committeewoman for the Republican National Committee since 2004, and was a delegate at the 2008, 2012, and 2016 national conventions. For the last 35+ years, “Ginny” has represented Ocean County on the New Jersey Republican State Committee, and is currently serving her second term on the Ocean County Board of Commissioners.

RNC National Committeeman Bill Palatucci
Bill Palatucci has led some of the most successful Republican statewide campaigns in New Jersey history. To name just a few, he was executive director of George H. W. Bush’s successful 1988 campaign, executive director of Gov. Kean’s historic landslide in 1985, senior advisor to then Gov. George W. Bush in 2000, and chairman of Gov. Christie’s re-election campaign in 2013.

Assemblyman Antwan McClellan
At the time of his election to the State Assembly in 2019 along with running-mates Senator Michael Testa and Assemblyman Erik Simonsen, their team flipped the most seats in the State Legislature in nearly 30 years. Antwan has risen quickly through the ranks and currently serves as Whip for the GOP Assembly Caucus.

Assemblyman Don Guardian
In a city with just 10% Republican registration, Don Guardian became the first Republican mayor in almost 25 years when he was elected in 2013. Through his work as mayor and a newly-elected Assemblyman, Don has been an unparalleled champion for Atlantic County and Atlantic City’s resurgence.

Assemblywoman Claire Swift
As a former Deputy Attorney General for the State of New Jersey, newly elected Assemblywoman, member of Stockton College’s Women’s Leadership Council, the Atlantic County Chamber of Commerce and the Atlantic County Board of Realtors, Claire Swift has been an unparalleled champion for the people of South Jersey.

Assemblywoman Marilyn Piperno
Assemblywoman Piperno’s upset victory in New Jersey’s 11th Legislative District helped lead a Republican resurgence in 2021 which saw the GOP flip 8 State Legislative seats- our biggest string of victories in 30 years.

Monmouth Co. Sheriff & Monmouth GOP Chairman Shaun Golden
Sheriff Shaun Golden is the 76th Sheriff of Monmouth County and is the Chief Executive of the agency. Sheriff Golden is also a former Toms River police officer and has served as Chairman of the Monmouth County Republican Committee since 2014, leading the organization to historic victories.

Ocean Co. Sheriff Mike Mastronardy
Sheriff Michael G. Mastronardy brings over 40 years of law enforcement experience to the Sheriff’s Office. Having worked his way up the ranks of the Toms River Police Department, Mastronardy was named Chief of the Department in November 1992. He served as Chief for 22 years until his retirement December 31, 2013.

Morris Co. Sheriff Sheriff Jim Gannon
James Gannon, the 77th Sheriff of Morris County, was elected to his first, three-year term in 2016, and was sworn in on January 2, 2017. Sheriff Gannon was re-elected to his second term in 2019, and currently is in the sixth year of his position.

Morris Co. GOP Chairwoman Laura Ali
Chairwoman Ali led the initiative to institute a County Line in Morris County in 2021. She also pioneered the effort to launch political NFTs in NJ, becoming the first Republican Committee to do so in the United States. Laura is also the Vice Chair of the NJ Republican County Chairman’s Association.

Cape May Co. GOP Chairman Mike Donohue
A longtime, well-respected member of the Cape May County legal community, Mike was appointed to the New Jersey Superior Court by Governor Chris Christie in 2015. Judge Donohue served in the Criminal Court in both Atlantic and Cape May counties and also in the Family Court. In 2020, Mike Donohue returned to the practice of law and to the Chairmanship of the CapeGOP, a position he also held from 2010-2015.

Middlesex Co. Republican State Committeeman Don Katz
Don, the longest-serving State Committeeman on the NJ Republican State Committee, has served as Counsel to the Middlesex County Republican Organization for over 35 years and has presented numerous seminars on Election Day challenging and election law for almost 45 years.

RNC Regional Political Director Phil Valenziano
Phil Valenziano is the Regional Political Director for the Republican National Committee and oversees six states in the upper Mid-Atlantic, including New Jersey. He has also served as the Executive Director of the NJGOP, as a campaign manager for Gubernatorial and Congressional campaigns, as a state director for Governor Christie’s Presidential campaign, and other campaigns and committees around the country.

Chris Russell, Checkmate Strategies
A co-founder of Checkmate Strategies, Chris Russell is an award-winning direct mail and Republican political consultant who has advised members of Congress, Republican organizations, state legislators, and elected officials across the country, and has successfully flipped seats from blue to red in NJ in 2017, 2019 & 2021. Russell most recently acted as General Consultant and Lead Strategist to Jack Ciattarelli for Governor.

Harrison Neely, Goldfinch Partners
Harrison has produced winning media campaigns in states from Alaska to New Jersey. He has served as the General Consultant and Caucus Director for the New Jersey Senate Republicans where they flipped four seats under his leadership, and as the Communications Director for the New Jersey Republican Party. Harrison was most recently named NJ Globe’s 2020 Consultant of the Year.

Pete Sheridan, Red Maverick Media
Pete is a seasoned and experienced political operative in New Jersey and across the country, having worked on President Bush’s campaign in PA in 2004, as well as both of Governor Christie’s successful gubernatorial campaigns in 2009 and 2013. Pete is also a former NJGOP Executive Director and recently served as the Executive Director of a multi-million dollar Super-PAC.

Carlos Cruz, Jamestown Associates Vice-President
Last cycle, Carlos was proud to play a key role in the NJGOP’s historic victories, serving as a media consultant in Legislative Districts 1, 2, and 11, as well as the Monmouth County Republican Organization. In 2020, Carlos worked on Jamestown’s advertising team for the Trump campaign, and prior to that served in key leadership roles on races across the country including Iowa, New Hampshire and Wisconsin.

Brock McCleary, Cygnal Polling & 2020 Trump for President Pollster
Brock McCleary serves as pollster to Members of Congress, independent expenditure organizations, nonpartisan public policy groups, and corporations across the country. In 2020, Brock served as Pollster to the campaign of President Donald J. Trump. Brock joined Cygnal in 2020 when it acquired Harper Polling. Brock previously served as Polling Director and Deputy Political Director at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).

Matt Rooney
Founder and CEO of (New Jersey’s top conservative news website) and host of the Matt Rooney Radio Show on 1210 WPHT Philadelphia.

Harry Hurley
As host of Harry Hurley in the Morning, Harry Hurley leads the charge every day as one of the top voices and advocates for conservatives and Republicans in South Jersey.

Rich Zeoli

As host of the Rich Zeoli Show, few people do more to advocate for common-sense, Republican principles and candidates in the Delaware Valley/South Jersey as Rich Zeoli does every morning on 1210 WPHT Philadelphia.

Dom Giordano
Since 1987, when The Dom Giordano Program became the country’s first teacher-turned-talk show host, The Dom Giordano Program has been the place that Philadelphia & South Jersey comes to talk. “Talkers Magazine” has named Dom one of the Top 100 Most Influential Talk Show Hosts in America for more than six years.


Online ticket sales for the NJGOP’s 5th Annual Statewide Leadership Summit have ended. Tickets will be available for purchase at registration beginning at 1:00 PM on Friday, March 25th.