Tightened Polling in LD38 and Prieto Money Pumping in LD39 Sparks Democratic Party Spat

A $260K TV ad buy by Republicans in LD38 for senate challenger Kelly Langschultz has put Democrats there off balance and increasingly at odds with their own party members who have designs on neighboring LD39, a source told InsiderNJ.

A tracking poll this week shows Langschultz seven points behind incumbent state Senator Bob Gordon (D-38). Gordon’s running mates, Assemblyman Tim Eustace and Assemblyman Joe Lagana, respectively are polling at seven and eight points ahead of their GOP opponents, the source said.

But the same tracker shows Democrat Phil Murphy running just one point ahead of Republican Kim Guadagno, 49-48%, mildly discombobulating the D’s.

In the midst of those district dynamics, a phone rang with Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) on the other end looking for money to help knock off Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (D-R-39) and Assemblyman Robert Auth (R-39).

Prieto had a simple message: Democrats were knocking on Schepisi and Auth’s door and needed cash from Lagana.

Lagana told Prieto no dice.

Too much volatility in his own district.

He couldn’t afford to part with any money for a coin pitch into LD39, classically a Republican district. The killings in New York City yesterday, too, sent a shock wave through the incumbents and reinvigorated their campaign trail efforts.

Gordon told InsiderNJ this past Saturday afternoon that he was on his way out to knock on a new round of doors.

Alert to his ally’s tightened contest in a district that is always close, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) – himself feeling better about his own prospects in LD3 with polling consistently showing him administering a beat down to his NJEA-connected GOP challenger – yesterday shipped Gordon $30K to keep him the 38th District senator afloat on TV and for mail.

“And this is what’s going on while they’re dumping a million into 39,” a source griped to InsiderNJ, referring to the amplified effort by Prieto and his allies to take down Auth and Schepisi.

 


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