I am looking at an invite to a June 23 fundraiser featuring a live band in honor of Tayfun Selen who is identified as “Congressional Candidate NJ-11.”
Clearly, Selen, who was endorsed by the Morris County Republican Committee, was confident of getting the CD-11 nomination. That was not to be.
A former prosecutor in Passaic County, candidate Paul DeGroot held his own in Morris – losing by only about 1,000 votes. He ran up the score in Passaic, where he beat Selen by a mind-boggling margin of 2,494 to 149.
That was the ballgame.
The new map makes CD-11 more Democratic than it is now. Still, DeGroot appears to be thinking the right way. He said during the run up to the Morris GOP convention that Republicans need to do a better job reaching out to women and minorities.
As for incumbent Mikie Sherrill, she doesn’t seem all that impressed.
Commenting today on the five-person primary, her campaign manager said that Republicans failed to unite around one candidate because their choices “ranged from bad to worse.”
As we move along, maybe DeGroot can hire the band that was supposed to play at Selen’s event. That would be Joe Bezzone & The Turnstyles.
CD-11 is only one of four seemingly competitive districts this fall; here are the others.
Republicans have to be happy that their candidate in south Jersey’s CD-3 won’t be someone who spent time in prison for killing a man in a drunk driving crash.
That has got to be a great relief for those who hope to oust Andy Kim. Redistricting has made the playing field a bit more Democratic, but the GOP certainly has a better chance with businessman – and onetime punk rocker – Bob Healey than it would have had with Ian Smith and his DUI past.
The latest figures put Healey up by more than 4,500 votes with more than 90 percent counted.
Of course, one of the developing traits of the MAGA crowd, to which Smith belongs, is that you can’t lose an election. Sure enough, a visit to Smith’s Facebook page shows a number of voters complaining about possible chicanery at the polls. Just a sign of the times.
Let’s move to CD-5 in north Jersey, where Frank Pallotta will go up against Josh Gottheimer for the second time. In doing so, he beat Nick DeGregorio, who had the endorsement of the Bergen County Republican Organization.
One of the notable aspects of the campaign were text messages between Pallotta and a BCRO operative. The messages, which Pallotta released, suggested that the Bergen GOP awarded its endorsement to the highest bidder.
Elsewhere in the trove of messages were demeaning comments from the Bergen operative about rural Sussex County, which represents a small part of CD-5. In fact, the Sussex part of the district has gotten smaller with the new map.
“All that matters is the line in Bergen,” read one text. Another referred to Kelly Ann Hart, Pallotta’s campaign manager and a Sussex resident, as a “Sussex flunky.”
Now let’s look at the math.
Pallotta carried the Sussex part of CD-5 by about 1,500 votes.
And what was his winning margin district wide? That would be about 1,500 votes.
Gottheimer, by the way, began attacking Pallotta while the intra-party GOP battle was still ongoing. He kept it up Tuesday night as the results became apparent when he sent out a statement calling Pallotta a “right wing extremist.”
Over in CD-7, the question was, would Tom Kean Jr. get 50 percent of the vote in a seven-person race?
He did not; he got 45 percent, which was more than enough.
Phil Rizzo, who talked boldly about bringing shock waves to the New Jersey political scene on Tuesday, got 23 percent, which was good enough for second.
Some may wonder what it means for the general election that Kean didn’t reach 50 percent. It probably means nothing. It’s not as if the right wing Republicans who did not back Kean are going to back Tom Malinowski this fall.
Recall last year at this time.
Jack Ciattarelli won the GOP gubernatorial primary against two right wingers, one of whom was Rizzo, with merely 50 percent of the vote. So, did those anti-Ciattarelli Republicans not vote in the fall?
Unlikely. Recall that Ciattarelli came within 3 points of pulling off a major upset.