He hears it as he walks around and talks to the real people out there in New Jersey.
“They’ve given up on the party,” said Nutley Commissioner Steve Rogers, a proud Republican running for governor but apparently going nowhere fast in his quest to grab county lines. That establishment fight seesaws between Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno and Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-16).
A cop of 38 years and Navy veteran, Rogers sees himself as the far better candidate for governor. In fact, he says he’s the only Republican who can win.
But people out there aren’t only discouraged by Republicans and Governor Chris Christie.
“They’re fed up with both parties,” Rogers told InsiderNJ. “It’s the party machinery. There’s a lot of negativity about Chris Christie. There’s a lot of anger for both GOP candidates [Ciattarelli and Guadagno] who didn’t support Donald Trump and are now both being very easy on Donald Trump. It’s sheer political chicanery. If you are not willing to make a stand, you can’t lead people. They calculated wrong. They were looking out for themselves and not the people.”
But doesn’t Rogers have a political problem as long as businessman Joe Rudy Rullo stays in the contest?
Rullo also self-identifies as a Trump loyalist, going back to the early days of the GOP Primary.
“I feel Joe is sincere but where he went wrong is he started calling people names,” Rogers said. “He started calling me names, and the lieutenant governor names. Joe would have some credibility if he didn’t start calling people names. I don’t consider him at all an issue. His former campaign manager is now working for me. He told us inside stuff but I’m not going to use that.”
A pro-life former Police Benevolent Association (PBA) president, Rogers has consistently made a point of emphasizing his close contact with urban leaders as a selling point for his candidacy, and he makes no apologies for being super patriotic.
“What I learned from public service is you truly have to represent all the people,” he said. “I make it a point to let people know that I am pro law enforcement, but I won’t support police knocking doors down and dragging people out of their homes. The reality when you go around to these county committee events, you see it, I see it – you don’t see much diversity. I’ve been to the inner cities and spoken to the ministers. I’ve been a police officer. I know.”