There’s Something Maga about Mary

RIDGEWOOD – Guess what, “Maga Mary” isn’t really bothered by the nickname.

“I love my name, Mary,” says Mary Jo Guinchard, noting its religious significance.

“I don’t care about the acronym,” she added. “I want America to be great. We’re not looking so great right now.”

Guinchard was recently endorsed by local Republicans to challenge CD-5 Democrat Josh Gottheimer this fall.

Gottheimer wasted little time getting into campaign mode, dispatching a release calling Guinchard “Maga Mary.”  His point was clear – the Republican is a right wing extremist.

One issue that divides the political camps these days is women’s reproductive rights.

Discussing her candidacy the other day in a local restaurant, Guinchard acknowledged that abortion has been a tough issue for Republicans since the overturning of Roe v.  Wade in June of 2022.

She said she is “pro-life,” but believes in exemptions for rape, incest and the health of the mother.

Guinchard already has tangled with Gottheimer over the issue of “choice.”  She has opposed the congressman’s criticism of pregnancy resource centers.

Gottheimer says they “brainwash” women and deny women information about abortion services. He made that point at a recent press conference outside the Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center in Hackensack.

The GOP candidate has another take. She said she attended a gala celebrating the work of the Lighthouse center that featured testimonials from women who said they were helped when they needed it.
Guinchard said the center is “amazing,” adding that “having a baby is a choice too.” She said no one at the center is being brainwashed.

Seeking a congressional seat is a big step up, but Guinchard is not a novice.

She served as mayor of Tuxedo Park in Orange County, N.Y.  She said this is a small village with sometimes big problems – like when a drunk driver crashed into and destroyed the gates leading into town.

Last year, Guinchard ran unsuccessfully for Bergen County commissioner. Running for county commissioner – and before that, freeholder – can be a thankless and arduous task.

County government tends to be obscure, so a good part of your campaign is spent telling voters what commissioners do. And in the case of Bergen, there is much travel involved.

Guinchard said she made it to all 70 Bergen County towns, 47 of which are in CD-5. She hopes that the knowledge she has of those towns will help her this year. Guinchard said she also has good contacts with countywide elected Republicans, which are limited to state legislators in districts 39 and 40.

Frank Pallotta of Mahwah challenged Gottheimer the last two cycles. Guinchard said she only got in the race this year when Pallotta told her he wasn’t interested in running again.

But she does have a challenger in the Republican primary. That would be George Song of Paramus. Guinchard, though, has the party support.

The district also includes parts of Sussex and Passaic counties, which are much more favorable to Republicans.

But the real task for Guinchard is to do well in Bergen, where Gottheimer won in 2022 by about 38,000 votes.

An actress and performer who has worked with Carol Channing and Leslie Uggams, Guinchard, 65, like many, decries the political polarization of the day. She says it’s vital for people on both sides to talk to each other and to look for real solutions and not just try to achieve political soundbites.

She says she knows Gottheimer will have a big fundraising advantage, but expresses hope that voters are tired of big money in politics. She supports term limits as a way to reduce the influence of money and to bring new people into office.

If women’s reproductive rights are the issue for Dems, Republicans have their key issue too.

It’s the border.

Guinchard, who grew up in Dallas, said she recently visited the border and found conditions worse than some have described.

She said she is sure “trafficking” is ongoing, noting that there are missing women and children.

Perhaps more troubling, Guinchard said, “We’ve got military age men coming in. We don’t know where they are.”

She added, “Every state’s a border state.”



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16 responses to “There’s Something Maga about Mary”

  1. It would have been helpful if Snowflack finished his story by reporting that democrats have presented a border plan that the republicans have wanted but now refuse to approve.

  2. I think it’s time to start suing anyone for defamation/ slander/libel who calls someone a right-wing extremist or supremacist without any basis in fact. Because you’re a Republican or Conservative does not make one a right-wing extremist or supremacist. And, don’t give me the crap that it’s a First Amendment thing. The use of such terms are derogatory and used to paint one as a terrorist or similar connotation.

    If you want to play the game that Republicans and Conservatives are right-wing extremists or supremacists, then we need to hit back and say the left-wingers are no longer Democrats, but socialists and communists hell bent on destroying democracy. That’s what the Nazis and Soviets did to their countries, and that’s what the current crop of mentally defective Democrat-Communists are trying to do to this country. If you Democrat-Communists don’t like the United States, get the hell out and move to Russia, China, North Korea, Vietnam, or Iran.

  3. Failure to recognize that communism or socialism can have democratically elected leaders is a failure on your understanding of terms you use as insults.

    There are Scandinavian examples of Socialist-leaning democracies, plenty with national pride and support.

    Your insults tell more about your myopic-simpletonism than it does to call out any actual Democrats.

    The American Left is very much center, is not center-right on the global stage. But please, keep using Communism and Socialism boogeyman words.

  4. Striving for excellence and integrity are worthy goals. I appreciate Mary Jo for challenging the lies being told about pregnancy centers.

  5. Sorry Michael, Jerseyans care about the out-of-control border too! Fentanyl deaths are at an all-time high in New Jersey due to the open border. Trump hasn’t ruled out campaigning in New Jersey, get some valium! Make America Great Again! MAGA!

    By the way John, that Democrat so-called border bill was seriously flawed and the Republicans rightfully rejected it! What else would one expect from Pelosi & Schumer?

  6. Congressman Gottheimer is an extremist on abortion. He supports
    abortion on demand up to the birth of the baby. He attacks Pregnancy Resource Centers like Lighthouse
    that help pregnant women Choose Life for their babies
    Do you have no shame Congressman!!

  7. Sullivan, you’re an idiot. Josh does not support abortion up until birth unless the fetus is no longer viable or the mother’s life is endangered. And pregnancy resource centers are a scam. Tell you what–when you’re able to give birth, then you get to have an opinion about women’s rights to make their own reproductive decisions. Until then, STFU.

  8. Michael LOL, bipartisan by a few Establishment RINOs who would jump at the chance to support an amnesty bill. Read what the great House Speaker exposed about that horrific bill. Read and learn instead of giving Pelosi / Schumer talking points!

  9. LOL, MAGA is leading Joey in the polls! Kamala ranks lower than Joey in the polls! What a team! Go MAGA 2024!

  10. Schnackenberg your the idiot. My facts are correct.
    You have a right to your opinion but not to your own facts


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