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Burlington County awoke this morning to the bold red and white color coding of Assembly candidate
Tom Giangiulio, the former mayor of Waterford, whose longstanding ties to Republican turned Democrat state Senator Dawn Addiego (R-8) make his self-professed Trump or Die campaign more maggot than MAGA, at least by the reckoning of the LD8 GOP.
“We’ve seen this movie before,” said BurlCo Republican Chairman Sean Earlen, who backs the LD8 establishment Republican ticket of Assemblyman Ryan Peters and retired Sheriff Jean Stanfield. “We knew exactly what was going on. This is the Camden machine, just as it was with the primary candidacy of Joe Howarth. We fully expect the 11th hour funding of Democrats to be on full display on this guy’s ELEC report .
“The bottom line is we have better candidates, and we’re ging to win with better candidates,” Earlen added.
Giangiulio adamantly disagrees, and says as he roams about the 8th he finds people equally dissatisfied by both major party tickets: the Republicans’, and the one occupied by Democratic atttorneys Gina LaPlaca and Mark Natale.
“I worked for Ryan,” said the third party candidate for the Assembly. “He’s a Navy SEAL in the reserves, and he wouldn’t sign President Trump’s pledge.
“I was raised a Marine,” added the former mayor of Waterford (pictured, top, getting sworn into office by Addiego). “My father was a drill instructor at Camp LeJune, and it is insubordinate for a military person to speak badly about his commander in chief.”
Asked for clarification about his military record, Giangiulio said he was not personally in the military like his father. “No, I was not. I was not able to enlist because of problems with my knees but my father raised me in the military.”
First things first.
The dimensions of Addiego’s party change are well-documented, and the red and white GOP Primary gasp of Assemblyman Howarth already accounted for in the annals of 2019 campaign lore.
In the overlapping aftermath of state Senator Jim Whelan’s death and the retirement from the senate of Jeff Van Drew, the South Jersey Democratic Party Machine pulled Troy Singleton up to the senate to replace retiring Senator Diane Allen (R-7); and then, in a coup that came after Andy Kim tossed Tom MacArthur out of office, flipped Addiego from R to D, thereby preserving (with LD1 hanging in the balance on Nov. 5th) the organization’s six-member strong base of operations.
After Addiego’s departure, Howarth dug as a self-styled MAGA conservative only to get run over by incumbent Assemblyman Peters, and Peters’ new running mate, retired Sheriff Jean Stanfield. Sources say the original plan was for Howarth – if he got past the establishment Republican candidacies of Peters and Stanfield – to run with Giangiulio in the general.
But Giangiulio now has another role to play, according to Earlen, that of red meat spoiler in one of this election cycle’s closest battleground contests. The former mayor’s “campaign,” such as it is, featured the Saturday spring-up of signs in both Peters’ and BurlCo GOP Chairman’s home towns respectively.
Earlen, a source said, was out there mowing his own lawn today amid the optics of Giangiulio’s own Ride of the Valkyries, even as the GOP stifled laughter at the rather galling sight, sloppy in its execution given the obvious binding ties, of Addiego’s longtime ally in MAGA or bust mode.
“Republicans in Burlington County should not be fooled,” said Earlen. “It’s a joke.”
But “Dawn had nothing to do with it,” Giangiulio told InsiderNJ.
Addiego’s father was Giangiulio’s childhood orthodontist.
Giangiulio and Addieo once shared office space for the respective businesses in Voorhees; Giangiulio as the principal of Glendale Excavating, inc. and Addiego with Krystal Construction Services.
Donations to Howarth’s doomed reelection campaign include $8,200 from Steve Sweeney’s IronWorkers PAC; $8,200 from the Norcross-connected IBEW 351; and a non-disclosed $300 donation after his primary loss. A check from the Howarth campaign (dated September 1, 2019) uses contributions that can be boiled back to Sweeney and Norcross PACs to make a $500 donation to Giangulio’s campaign.
Josh Foote, a staffer in the joint Addiego/Howarth legislative office, moreover, was active in the
Howarth Primary Election campaign. His sister, Amanda Foote, served as Treasurer of Joe Howarth’s campaign account. Following the election, Howarth’s campaign paid Foote $2,000 for “Consulting Fees”. Giangulio’s ELEC report lists the campaign treasurer as Maria Fernandez-Morales, a Democrat who lives at the same address as Foote’s sister, Amanda (the Joe Howarth campaign treasurer).
“I’m not going to tell you she doesn’t support me,” Giangulio said. “She’s certainly not working against me. I’m doing my own thing. Some of them [supporters] are affiliated with Dawn and some of them aren’t.”
Addiego, he insists, told him not to enter the race on account of his heart condition. To the outside eye, the mayor admitted, it looks like a former Democrat bitterly trying to take out her old running mate, a surviving Republican who is sworn to run against her in 2021. But he claims the establishment was so self-serving in its escape amid the paroxysms of a power shift, and the BurlCo GOP so bad to its members, Addiego and Howarth among them, that he understands why the senator changed parties.
Even more than that, he backs her.
“I think she did the right thing,” Giangiulio said. “The people in power were trying to push her out the door. And Joe didn’t know a thing.”
While he swears he respects Peters for the Assemblyman’s military service, he also wants to do him in on Nov. 5th.
“If he’s that concerned, tell him to get his butt up to Trenton,” said the self-professed MAGA candidate, who voted in a 2011 Demoratic Primary. “He’s not in it for the people. He wants to take the next step and run for Congress, He’s there for personal reasons. He’s using this as a stepping stone.”
For the record, Peters is committed to not running for Congress next year. He backs former running mate Katie Gibbs as the GOP alternative to incumbent U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-3).
“Leave the guy alone,” Giangiulio said of Trump, referencing Peters’ resistance to a Howarth-proferred loyalty pledge to the president and, he claims, subsequent Peters’ POTUS badmouthing. “At least I’m not in favor of socialism and left-wing nonsense. …He talks badly about his commander in chief. It was after the primary, after he beat Joe, he started slamming Trump.”
Notwithstanding Giangiulio’s arguments, to those Republicans mobilized behind Peters and Stanfield, the battleground episode bore more than a passing resemblance to the 2010 spolier presence of supposed Tea Party candidate Peter DiStefano, vainly in the general election contest to stop the stampede of Republican Jon Runyan, who would defeat incumbent U.S. Rep. John Adler (D-3).
“Mr. Giangiulio’s stunning admission that his campaign is being run by party turncoat Dawn Addiego’s political staff proves what we knew all along,” Peters said in a statement. “Giangiulio is a fraud candidate planted in the race by the Camden Democrat Cartel to try and fool voters and steal votes from me and Sheriff Stanfield. It’s a repeat of their fake tea party candidate scheme against Jon Runyan. It blew up on them then, and is going to do the same now. Voters are too smart. They proved that again earlier this year when we crushed phony MAGA Joe Howarth in the primary – in spite of Steve Sweeney’s money.”
- Amanda Foote
- Andy Kim
- Burlington County Democrats
- Burlington County GOP
- Dawn Marie Addiego
- Donald Trump
- George Norcross
- Gina LaPlaca
- Jean Stanfield
- Jeff Van Drew
- Jim Whelan
- Joe Howarth
- John Adler
- Jon Runyan
- Josh Foote
- Katie Gibbs
- Maria Fernandez-Morales
- Mark Natale
- Peter DiStefano
- Ryan Peters
- Sean Earlen
- Steve Sweeney
- Tom Giangiulio
- Tom MacArthur
- Troy Singleton
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