CD11 Flashpoint: Going Door to Door for Ghee

PARSIPPANY – When senior citizen Adam Renzulli answered a knock on his door Monday afternoon, he encountered a young man not even a third his age.
That was 19-year-old Nick Pacheco who was drumming up votes in the township’s Lake Hiawatha section for CD-11 candidate Antony Ghee.
Pacheco quickly went into his spiel.
Ghee, he said, is a family man, the father of two, a major in the army reserves and a candidate committed to upholding  Republican values. He ticked them off – low taxes, support for the Second Amendment, a strong defense.
Renzulli admitted not knowing much about Ghee, but said he had heard about Jay Webber, one of the other candidates in the race. No surprise there. Webber represents Parsippany in the state Assembly; Ghee is from Passaic County.
“This guy seems pretty good,” Renzulli said of Ghee.
Pacheco was suitably pleased.
Just about all candidates go door-to-door, but it’s not always a successful endeavor. People often are not home. Some are disinterested, even though candidates know those who have a history of voting in primaries. Some just don’t answer.
Pacheco came to a house that had a TV loudly blaring inside. But no one answered the door.
Ghee has organizational support in Essex and Passaic counties.
But to be truly competitive, he needs to make some inroads into Morris County, which is still the most prominent county in the 11th District.
He’s trying.
The Ghee campaign today dispatched a number of campaign teams to visit voters.
Heading one effort was 21-year-old Anthony Dell’Aquila, of Lyndhurst, which is also where Pacheco lives. Lyndhurst is not in the district, but the young men said they like Ghee’s motivation and energy.
“He’s a political outsider,” Pacheco said. “It’s just something that resonates with me.”
Ghee has been trying to label Webber as an establishment politician who has lost touch with voters. Webber has been in the Assembly a little more than 10 years.
Dell’Aquila is driving through the narrow streets of Lake Hiawatha – an older community where there is, oddly, no lake – with a voting list on his lap. He instructs Pacheco and eventually two other volunteers which homes to visit.
Pacheco also met Angelo and Josephine Molinare, a couple who knew there’s an election tomorrow. That was a good start, but they knew little about Ghee.
When that happens, Pacheco asks them to read one of the candidate’s brochures.
Ever optimistic, Dell’Aquila says that when people get to know something about Ghee, they like him.
Dell’Aquila said that he and his team probably have knocked on more than 2,000 doors, Besides Parsippany, they have visited Denville and Montville in Morris County, Cedar Grove in Essex and a number of other towns.
When no one  is home – or no one answers – they leave a brochure behind the mailbox.
When Pacheco did that at one house, he noticed a brochure already had been left. That was for John Cesaro, one of five candidates running for three Republican freeholder nominations in Morris County.
At least it wasn’t for Webber.
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