MAHWAH – There’s no electioneering at polling places, but candidates can talk to voters – if they’re at least 100 feet away that is.
So when CD-5 candidate Frank Pallotta made it to the polls this morning in his hometown, he did just that.
“We’re really excited,” he told one voter outside of a local firehouse.
“You leave it up to the voters,” he said. “You don’t leave it up to the party bosses.”
The voter with whom Pallotta spoke may not have been completely privy to Bergen County Republican Organization infighting, but that really is the core of Pallotta’s campaign. – to Hell with the party bosses.
Pallotta, who unsuccessfully carried the GOP’s banner against Josh Gottheimer two years ago, wants another shot. He thinks he’ll do better this time around, primarily because second time House candidates usually do.
But the BCRO endorsed military veteran Nick DeGregorio.
Pallotta wasn’t pleased with the snub.
So much so that his campaign released a trove of text messages that suggested the county endorsement was for sale to the highest bidder.
BCRO reps say that’s nonsense and what’s more, the messages Pallotta released were taken out of context.
This spat has even morphed into the county race. We just saw an exchange of insults between Linda Barba and Todd Caliguire who are battling for the party’s county executive nomination. Barba is on Pallotta’s team; Caliguire is endorsed by the BCRO.
Back at the firehouse, Pallotta was happy to look ahead.
He told one woman there’s no doubt Republicans will take the House.
“It’s just a question of how many seats,” Pallotta said.
As for Gottheimer, he talked to voters this morning in Ridgewood. Gottheimer doesn’t have a primary opponent, and, of course, he can’t play in the Republicans’ game.
But he has gotten involved with at least one mailer that criticized Pallotta for cozying up to Donald Trump. The Gottheimer campaign said at the time that it considers Pallotta his “likely opponent” in November.