MORRISTOWN – Larry Casha told a story about his long-ago prowess as a high school baseball pitcher – good enough to get tryouts with both the Cincinnati Reds and the New York Yankees. That was in 1972.
But he “threw out his arm” and his pro baseball career never got started. No “Tommy John” surgery in that era.
Casha presented his history lesson to about 100 or so people Tuesday night in a local restaurant as he kicked off his campaign for Congress in the 11th District.
The historical touch was more than window dressing. As Casha put it, he’s not a “Larry-come-lately.”
Many Republicans are running, or are considering a run, for Congress from CD-11, which covers parts of Morris, Essex, Passaic and Sussex counties. Almost enough to field a baseball team, it seems.
The roster may change, but it now includes Tayfun Selen, a Morris County Commissioner, Paul Degroot, Tom Toomey, Robert Kovic and Hillery Brotschol. Other possibilities include Phil Rizzo, who ran for governor last year, and Rosemary Becchi, who ran for the House seat in 2020.
But probably none can match Casha’s longevity in the district and in Morris County. He is a lifelong resident who grew up in Montville and who now lives in Kinnelon. His political history is long as well. Casha, who over the years has been an activist, a fundraiser and a candidate, now represents Morris on the state Republican Committee.
Casha’s kickoff was attended by Bill Palatucci, a New Jersey representative on the National Republican Committee.
Palatucci said many politicians avoid getting involved in primaries and he doesn’t always get involved himself.
However, as for Casha:
“I believe there are causes and people worth fighting for,” Palatucci said. “Larry is one of those people I will fight for.”
Palatucci described Casha as a “true blue” conservative who will stand up to a Democratic party that he said has moved too far left.
Casha made general comments about the state of today’s national politics. He said rioting whether it occurs in the streets or at the Capitol is never acceptable.
His only mention of incumbent Mikie Sherrill went like this:
“It’s not enough to chirp and say Mikie Sherrill is not doing a great job.” What’s needed is for a candidate to explain why she is allegedly not doing a good job.
Six months before the primary is not yet the time for an exhaustive debate on issues. That, presumably, will come.
“It doesn’t end tonight, tonight it starts,” Casha said.