The Late Dynamics of the GOP Primary in CD11

Tony Ghee’s people hope Jay Webber’s insistence on ideological purity backfires on him, their intuitive assumptions about the Republican Primary voter superseded by raw organization, but whatever happens today, businessman Peter DeNeufville exceeded expectations in CD11.

Here’s the GOP Primary race:

Ghee has the lines in Essex and Passaic.

Passaic has the organizational talents of former (and future) GOP Chairman Peter Murphy.

Having had the bylaws of the organization altered so that former felons can chair the party, the mail fraud-jammed Murphy is going to win the chairmanship again next Tuesday, a week from today, displacing John Traier, and returning to the throne of countywide power.

But first he’s going to put Totowa in overdrive for Ghee, the former JAG officer who wants that Republican nomination for the seat held by retiring U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11).

Webber’s a movement conservative and has raised solid dollars for his run. More than his rivals expected he would. He’s a very tough primary out, but Ghee allies are banking on low voter turnout to make their organizational advantages in Passaic especially, as well as a second party line in Essex, count. Plus, Morris is disorganized and fractured.

That’s their shot.

In addition to Webber’s early heads-up branding of Ghee as an opportunist without real Republican foundations, Ghee likely suffers the fact that DeNeufville has run more than a spoiler campaign.

He’s the candidate the insiders think is a Manchurian plant, who ends up morphing into a guy who assuredly will be back on the strength of his performance. He’s spent a lot of money. By the time it’s all over, one source estimates he’s north of half a million on the contest.

DeNeufville is running like he will win tonight.

After they had already backed Ghee, he went to Murphy and Essex County Republican Committee Chairman Al Barlas and told them he was in the race and would they back him.

They didn’t dislike him.

But Ghee was already in the contest.

They were already going to the mat for him.

So DeNeufville was left to his own devices, and by the ubiquitous look of his well-messaged, patriotic ads, his own devices proved considerable.

Ghee allies pray his robust performance hurts the similarly situated Webber more than it hurts them, but Ghee’s decision to go live last week with a meeting he said he had with DeNeufville suggests that he believes DeNeufville hurts him.

That leaves the race where it started back when Webber arguably mortally wounded Ghee: advantage Webber.

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