Catchy as Catch Can: Slogans on the Primary Ballot

One candidate wants to run for Congress under the slogan, “Let’s Go Brand*n – FJB.”

Another says he’s “endorsed by the New York Times” and if that’s not enough, he’s “Supported by the governor.”

Monday’s filing deadline for congressional candidates brought forth not only dozens of candidates, but also a number of creative, catchy or perhaps downright kooky ballot slogans.

Let’s start with Robert Shapiro of Lakewood who filed to challenge incumbent Republican Chris Smith in CD-4. He’s the fellow with the “Let’s Go Brand*n – FJB” slogan. He, clearly, is not a subtle guy; not hard to figure out what “FJB” means.

CD-4 actually is home to a number of similar, but slightly different, slogans, all of which pay homage to Donald Trump.

The slogan for Steve Gray of Howell is “America First – True Conservative Outsider.”

Then there’s Tricia Flanagan of E. Toms River who is running under “America First” and Mike Blasi of Freehold who wants to “Save America,”  Mike Crispi of Middletown offers up “American First Republicans” – just in case someone thought there were “America First Trotskyites.”

The obvious goal here is for Republicans to climb aboard the “America First” train of Trump. All seemed to accept the view that Smith, who has represented the district for years, is not “Trumpian” enough.

Smith’s slogan by the way blandly says that he’s endorsed by the Ocean and Monmouth county Republican organizations. That’s all. He’s no fun.

In most cases, the most preposterous ballot slogans are from candidates with probably no chance of winning. Some, in fact, may not even get on the ballot when all is said and done. It is common for so-called fringe candidates to file petitions without the required number of legitimate signatures.

But this is a day after the filing deadline and everyone is a candidate.

That includes Democrat Eugene D. Mazo of Newark who filed to run in CD-8 where the man to beat is Robert Menendez Jr.

You have to admire his chutzpah. He has different slogans for different counties that make up the district. Two of them are the aforementioned “Endorsed by the New York Times” and “Supported by the governor.”  Guess what? He’s not endorsed by either the Times or the governor.

No one should take such slogans too seriously. But one may ask aloud, if a guy who just makes up phony endorsements is worthy of Congress? Ditto for a guy who thinks it’s all fine and good to offer up a profane slogan like “FJB.”

Of course, there are other intriguing ballot slogans. Let’s look at some of them.

In CD-1, where the incumbent is Democrat Donald Norcross, a Republican candidate is Damon Galdo of West Deptford whose slogan is “Build Back What He Had.”  That’s not bad.

In CD-3, Democrat Reuven Hendler of Beachwood is challenging incumbent Andy Kim in the primary. He’s running under the banner “Medicare For All! Fight Inflation.” Some may see a contradiction in that.

In CD-5, four Republicans want a shot at Democrat Josh Gottheimer. The most audacious slogan comes from Sab Skenderi – “End Vaccine Mandates. Deport Illegal Aliens.” So there.

Let’s move to CD-7 where the incumbent is Tom Malinowski. One of the Republicans running in the primary, Kevin Dorlon, is doing it “For Family and Freedom.” Then there is John Henry Isemann who is running under, “New Ideas, New Energy, New Jersey.” Both are from Long Valley.

Moving along to CD-10, a staunchly Democratic district represented by Donald Payne, we find Republican Garth Stewart of Jersey City. His ballot slogan is FOG.  Huh? As he explains, that stands for “Friends of Garth.”

As we saw with Smith, incumbents and their series challengers – like Tom Kean Jr. in CD-7 – tend to avoid colorful ballot slogans in favor of straightforward endorsements by county organizations.

And there are even some candidates who filed with the notation, “slogan pending.”  This info should give them something to think about.

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One response to “Catchy as Catch Can: Slogans on the Primary Ballot”

  1. I’m sorry to correct you but my slogan is build back what WE had not HE. It’s not just about me, it’s about the we, the people. If you can correct that I’d appreciate it. If not I’ll still get it out there and do what I’ve always have done…… just put everything I have into something that I believe. Thank you for mentioning me. I really appreciate it. Im here to win!

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