Residency on the same column makes association difficult to avoid, and tidies politics into a simple, single word, probably best summarized as “establishment,” which finally protects itself rather than indulging in something as uncivilized as a street fight.
Governor Phil Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Shelia Oliver have not formally endorsed Vic Carstarphen for mayor of Camden in the June 8th Democratic Primary.
But a mail piece paid for by American Democratic Majority hit mailboxes today in the city, urging Camden residents to vote for “the Column One Team,” which includes Carstarphen, Oliver, and Murphy.
If not an endorsement exactly, the piece underscores the extent to which Murphy and the Camden County Democratic Committee found a way to rapidly heal their differences in time for their mutual 2021 reelection bids, where they all occupy the same alpha space on the ballot.
The Camden Dems back Carstarphen for mayor as the replacement for Frank Moran, who mysteriously resigned earlier this year.
They are the same George Norcross-backed group that Murphy investigated in the earlier half of his first term as governor, a rupture corrected by the time Speaker Nancy Pelosi attended a South Jersey event featuring Murphy and Norcross’ brother, U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross (D-1), in February of 2020.
American Democratic Majority has close ties to Norcross (see below).
While the governor stopped short of saying he had a mayoral pick in the contest, he didn’t rule out backing someone, and Murphy’s support for the establishment candidate all but looked inevitable after this:
We know relations between Norcross and the NJEA — and Gov. Murphy, for that matter — have been on the mend for some time. But this looks like major step of that rapprochement. The new super PAC has sent out mailers for Vic Carstarphen in Camden and is running a TV ad in support of Gordon Johnson’s state Senate candidacy in District 37.
Based on the insulation of his ballot position, the durability of the county party organization, and the money, Carstarphen is the favorite for mayor in a field that includes Councilwoman Felisha Reyes Morton, School Board Member Elton Custis, and Spanish teacher Luis Quinones.
One of Norcross’ longtime attorneys and the go-to-legal brain for the organization, Bill Tambussi is the name associated with the PAC.
Multiple pro-Carstarphen mail pieces have hit in the past week.