LODI – Bergen County hasn’t been very kind of late to Republicans, prompting county GOP chair Jack Zisa to offer a direct challenge.
“Deliver the middle,” Zisa told party members at a fundraiser Wednesday night for Richard Garcia, the party’s state Senate candidate in LD-38.
The point here makes sense. As Zisa mentioned, it can be assumed that a chunk of people will always vote Democratic and that another chunk will always vote Republican.
So you fight for those in the middle who are truly undecided. Think of it as a football game that is won between the two, 40-yard lines.
This strategy only works with candidates who seek to reach the middle, as opposed to catering to the extremes.
Republicans think they have such a candidate in Garcia, a Saddle Brook resident who oversees the employee credit union for the Newark Board of Education.
His fundraiser at The Elan on Route 46 was an impressive affair that included food, drink and a live band.
District 38 covers central Bergen and one town in Passaic County, Hawthorne. The incumbent Democratic senator is Joe Lagana.
“For the past 18 months, we see how New Jersey has changed…. rights have been taken,” Garcia said.
Not only that, things haven’t been working.
Garcia said he knows a friend who waited five months to get unemployment benefits; another friend had to get up literally in the middle of the night to visit the MVC.
When you add the closing of small businesses, students wearing masks in school all year and high property taxes to this mix, Garcia said, “I get mad.”
And he added, “You should be mad.”
He also complained about people fleeing New Jersey. This is standard Republican fare, but not necessarily true. The state’s population increased by about 500,000 over the last 10 years, according to the recent Census.
Here’s the political question. How does Garcia hope to convince voters to swing his way in a district where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by about 26,000?
“At the end of the day, you have to talk to people,” he said.
He theorizes that everyone wants the same thing – a safe neighborhood, reasonable taxes and good schools.
So, if a Republican can help make those things happen, why not vote for him?