Parsippany Intensifies Early

Soriano in Parsippany

Democrats are wasting no time going after Parsippany Republican Lou Valori and it’s unknown if he will even be the GOP’s mayoral nominee.

Undaunted by such technicalities, Morris County Democrats sharply attacked Valori last week in a fundraising appeal that coincided with his (Valori’s) mayoral announcement.

All is fair in politics, but some of the attacks were, shall we say, a bit exaggerated.

Here’s one of them.

“As chair of the Parsippany GOP, Valori saw his own vice chair, former freeholder and councilman John Cesaro, arrested on bribery charges.”

It’s true that Cesaro was criminally charged by the state Attorney General’s Office in December, 2019, for allegedly taking money from a “cooperating witness.” This alleged offense reportedly occurred when Cesaro himself was contemplating a run for mayor.

The case is pending,

But whatever Cesaro did, or didn’t do, has nothing to do with Valori.

The solicitation also accuses Valori of “standing shoulder to shoulder with Q-Anon and Proud Boys’ members at a Trump rally in Parsippany on September 12.”

There were actually two Trump rallies that day in Parsippany – one at Veterans Park and the other at Route 46 and Baldwin Road. The message doesn’t specify where Valori’s dalliance with Q-Anon and the Proud Boys allegedly took place.

In response, Valori said he has had nothing to do with the Proud Boys and Q-Anon. He called the accusation “mind boggling” and “delusional,” adding that he has family members who are minorities.

The Democrats’ letter also brings up past stories about Valori reporting a “bribe” offer from then mayor Jamie Barberio – only to run with Barberio on the same ticket a few years later.

“If Valori would run with a man he accused of bribery, what would he do for his friends?”  the letter asked.

In asking recipients to donate to the re-election campaign of Democratic Mayor Michael Soriano, the letter says a vote for Valori is essentially a vote for such ills as “overdevelopment, dishonesty and putting Parsippany families in jeopardy.”

There’s nothing uncommon about “mud throwing” in local races, but the election is nine months away and we still need to get through the GOP primary. There’s still time for other Republicans to get into the race and perhaps win it.

So, if nothing else, last week’s onslaught against Valori indicates how important this race is. Clearly. Democrats want to retain the mayor’s chair in Morris County’s largest town and they want to start raising campaign money now.

Valori doesn’t seem fazed by the early assault.

“If this is what they’re going to do, they’re going to lose,” he predicts.

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