Princeton Fact Check: Did the Mercer GOP Endorse Trump?


false“The Mercer County GOP endorsed Donald Trump for president.”

–  Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert, Princeton Community Democratic Organization local candidate endorsement meeting, March 20, 2016

Near the end of her three-minute speech to Princeton Community Democratic Organization members on Sunday night, Mayor Liz Lempert said the Mercer County Republicans endorsed Donald Trump for president at their county convention. Lempert went on to express her horror about the nomination.

But the endorsement claim is false. The Mercer GOP did not endorse Trump for president. In fact, the Mercer Republicans ended up not making any endorsement for president, Mercer County Republican Chairwoman Lisa Richford confirmed Wednesday.

The GOP was split, with Hamilton Republicans backing Trump, while a coalition of Princeton, West Windsor, and Hopewell Township delegates supported Kasich.

Seventy-five delegates voted. Trump received 32 votes and Kasich had 31 votes. Cruz had 11 votes. Two delegates submitted write-in votes that were not counted because there were no provisions in the rules for write-ins, Princeton GOP Chairman Dudley Sipprelle said.

Only Kasich’s nominators properly filed a notice within the seven day notification deadline for the convention. He could have won the county endorsement with a simple plurality, or one vote switching sides. Trump and Cruz were nominated from the floor, which required a 60 percent threshold to win the endorsement.

Lempert said in an email exchange with Planet Princeton that she saw a post of Facebook the day of the PCDO meeeting and misread the linked Trentonian article about the Mercer GOP endorsement. “I should have said that Trump was the top vote getter,” she said.



  1. I can totally understand that Princeton Republicans want to distance themselves from Trump. The guy is terrible, and it’s alarming that the Mercer County party gave him the largest number of votes. The Mayor is right that we should not be complacent about Trump. He even gets support right here in New Jersey. If he gets the Republican nomination, and he probably will, then we could be one small turn away from President Trump. That would be horrific. People need to get out and support Hillary to make sure this joker never gets near the White House.

      1. Hillary is the most-qualified candidate, and the most moderate candidate, but importantly she is also a candidate who is Not Trump. I can understand people have reservations about her, I don’t like a lot of her foreign policy for example. But she is a serious candidate who will stop Trump. We need to stop Trump. More and more people are climbing onto his awful bandwagon. Hillary is our best chance to stop him.

        1. Yeah Gen. Petraus goes to jail for a few classified secrets to his girlfriend. Hillary had thousands including top-secret emails on an open server but no you will just take her word for it that all was fine. It really is sickening.
          The leftist protestors outside these Trump events are some of the most hateful people I have ever seen but the press will not show that side of them. She and Obama cannot even say Islamic Terrorist because it might be hurtful. Why don’t you leftist invite the Syrian refugees into the town since you a sanctuary city. Oh I forgot the progressive tactic is to call anything or anyone they don’t like a racist.

          1. General Petraeus (!) did not goto jail.

            He pled guilty to a misdemeanor because while CIA director, he gave his lover classified information. This information was classified at the time.

            Secretary Clinton showed poor judgment with her emails, but never sent material, classified at the time, to any not authorized. While there was a possibility of a security breach, there is no evidence that one ever happened. And at no time did unauthorized people gain access to classified information.

            That is why the cases are different.

            Facts are terrible things.

            1. I love your interpretation “poor judgement” well she had the highest classification of secret emails SCI secure compartmented information on them and liberals just minimize this to poor judgement. I can’t wait until she gets indicted but dumbo Biden will step in and we know how you love him. Hope & Change we are all still waiting! Oh wait Obama created millions of part time jobs and lost millions of full time jobs and we call that job creation.

              1. It’s interesting that this conversation is totally about the upcoming election – absolutely essential, of course, but as I read it, the point of the article was that our mayor seriously misspoke.

                1. Yes edg, exactly. Regardless of anyone’s position on the general election, the mayor “mispoke” and for obvious, personal political benefit. Princeton year after year votes for the Democrat in national and statewide elections. Municipal office candidates, like the mayor, have benefited profoundly from this. The current crew of municipal elections strategically and tellingly aligned the mayoral election with the US Presidential election cycle after consolidation – the mayor is elected in Presidential election years. This means that a person seeking election or re-election as the mayor of Princeton does not have to impress or respond to you, the individual Princeton resident citizen nearly as much as he/she needs to impress the local Democratic party organization (club?) to earn the Democratic nomination. Once a candidate is on that Democratic stripe in a Presidential year, its smooth sailing, the bulk of student voters, other new, temp or transient residents, and all of those who just only have the attention span for a national race (without focus on local issues) come in and vote down the Democratic ticket and the municipal Democrat candidates coat-tail right in. This is unfortunate because there is a loss of accountability by local officials to those residents/citizens who dive deep and care about local issues, and who may be working hard to seek solutions to local issues in a collaborative, non-partisan way. And given this situation, the mayor knows that the more attention that is given to the national election issues over local issues, the more her re-election is a given in this Democratic town. I am a life long big D democrat, and I’m glad we are a Democratic town and agree with virtually my elected Democratic town officials on national issues and policy, however, a party divide is detrimental when addressing local issues (such as school policies and budgeting, historic preservation, bike/pedestrian friendliness, local policing, zoning, recreation, etc, etc, etc) and it would be healthy for our community to have our municipal officials really have to work to impress us, the citizenry on such matters, rather than to just appeal to commonality on national policy and ride in on coattails every four years. I personally have friends in this town with whom I may disagree on some national policy matters but who will work in coalition tirelessly on environmental, historic, town vs. University, and bike safety issues in town (to name just a few), and I’d be happier in some ways if we had the energy, dedication and commitment and perspective of those independents or even Republicans within our town government working on those issues. The solution is that Princeton should have non-partisan municipal elections. When we vote for mayor, the candidate choice should not be placed at the end of the “line” of party affiliated candidates, there should be separate ballot area for our municipal candidates. Candidates can affiliate as they wish and tell the voters their party of affiliation, and the PCDO and other local or regional party organizations can still “endorse”, but the ballot should be set up to encourage the earning of each of our votes.

              2. If the facts were as you say, you could stick to them to support your case. Your need to bring in Biden and Obama, who weren’t involved, show that the facts aren’t as you say. That’s why there will be no indictment.

          2. Don’t hold your breath. Attorney General Lynch will not pursue an action against Mrs. Clinton.

            The FBI Director, Mr. Comey – as honorable a man as they come – will resign in protest and hundreds of agents will take early retirement. It will be a small crisis.

            You heard it here — if not first.

        2. Hillary is not talking like a moderate candidate. Bernie has pushed her further to the left. They both endorse President Obama’s record wholeheartedly then promise to give everyone all the free stuff that Obama wasn’t not able to give them.

          In the general election, and if elected, she may tack to the center.

          And therein lay the problem with Mrs. Clinton. She’s a pathological liar. And on that score she has a whole lot in common with Mr. Trump.

          Heaven help us.

        3. SFB, something about threatening to turn Iran into a pool of glass, back in 2008 when their threat level was relatively low, does not sound “moderate” to me.

      2. I agree Bob I will vote for Bernie and if he does not get the nomination I will vote for trump. Anything but the establishment.

    1. Trump may be the GOP nominee, but enough delegates remain that an unknown could (theoretically) sweep the remaining primaries and win the nomination.

      It remains to be seen who the Democrats will nominate, and who will be indicted.

      What any of this has to do with borough council outside of basic fear mongering is beyond me.

      1. Fear-mongering? Donald Trump is more than half-way to being nominated for President of the United States of America! Even in Mercer County, the largest number of members of the Republican Party – the party of Lincoln – think Donald Trump should be President! We’ve sat back long enough and figured that Trump will blow himself up. He hasn’t. Instead he gets stronger and stronger. Even with the entire Washington DC GOP hierarchy fighting against him, he is clocking up more and more wins. This is no time for complacency. Stop Trump.

        1. I don’t see the part the mayor of Princeton plays in National politics.

          Perhaps it is time for Americans to acquaint themselves with democracy. “Government” will neither elect nor reject Trump, it is up to the registered voters of this country.

        2. I don’t understand people undermining the voting choice of the significant population of the USA.

          If majority of the voters want Trump, then Trump should be our President.

          It is a clear message to the ‘establishment’ that this Administration is going to the wrong direction.

          1. Bob Rein you are not allowed to question progressives or else you will be called racist. I am with you Bob I don’t want 8 more years of failure and apologies to other countries for being American. Hillary just days ago admitted that we need to lower costs on Obamacare well it was originally called hillarycare but let’s just ignore that. Google-

            Hillary’s Terrible Answer on Rising Obamacare Costs

          2. Were you similarly concerned about the GOP’s undermining of Pres. Obama?

        3. Lyin’ Ted scares me more than Trump. Cruz has such radically conservative ideas that I don’t like to even imagine what he would do. His views are the Christian equivalent of the Taliban. Trump, while he’s certainly a blow hard, is much less dangerous than Cruz.

          1. Bill I agree the only thing people fear with Trump is the uncertainty because he has never been a politician. Cruz is establishment with Bush backing and his wife works for Goldman Sachs and Met Ted while working for George Bush’s campaign. ESTABLISHMENT vote Bernie or Trump. Hillary is out for herself and will say anything to get elected.

      2. Fear mongering, not truth, is driving political platforms and public policy… nationally, and right here in our own hood. Princeton taxpayers would be wise to demand that real numbers and statistics be presented before any “problem” starts costing our town money to analyze and discuss. Trump has his concrete wall, Lempert has her concrete sidewalks, and the taxpayers (not Mexico) will pay the bill for all this silliness.

  2. As a public official, Ms. Lempert needs to be much more careful about her public statements. If she is guilty of making such a blatantly wrong public statement, how many other statements has she made that bear no credibility? There are many problems in Princeton right now, including the problem of long-time middle class residents being forced out of their own community because of high taxes and the high cost of living, the upheaval and disruption of many Princeton neighborhoods that have been victimized by reckless sub-division and excessive overcrowding, and the reduction of public services in spite of outrageously high taxes. Instead of making irresponsible public statements that actually have nothing to do with Princeton’s local governance, Ms. Lempert needs to focus on solving Princeton’s many problems.

    1. I disagree that it’s a ‘blatantly wrong’ statement, because it’s clear that the largest number of Mercer County Republicans did endorse Trump over other candidates. What the Mayor said was basically correct, except that the number of votes was not high enough for an official party endorsement. I suspect that the Mayor has issued many, many statements about substantive issues, which have not been reported, so the question I find myself asking is, why are we even talking about this?

      1. There is a difference, for those of us who still use the word “correct,” between being endorsed and not being endorsed.

        Lempert was (God forbid) wrong.

    2. Great points, Frank. To listen to the Mayor and her cohort, one would believe that Princeton’s biggest problems are that all residents are reckless drivers, 1900 affordable housing units are needed in our young, college town, making seniors pay for concrete walks in beautiful, wooded hoods is a good thing, and more. Municipal priorities & Council’s dialogue thus focus around these “pressing priorities”. Sad. To add to insult to taxpayers’ injuries here, public policy is tailored to favor Princeton’s large institutions and faculty.

  3. Thanks for the fact check – Facebook shouldn’t be a source for elected officials. The barrage of partisan rants that this elicited is disurbing. Do any of you think that any of your statements caused anyone to say, “wow they’re right, I’m going to change my vote.”

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