’s Weekly Campaign Notebook Oct. 31

As we get closer to the Nov. 3 general election, will post a weekly notebook of actions of the candidates.


The race for Georgia’s electoral votes remains very close, but Joe Biden has gained ground on President Donald Trump in the latest Monmouth University Poll. Among all registered voters in Georgia, Biden is supported by 50% and Trump is supported by 45%. Similarly, the shifts in Monmouth’s likely voter models are not statistically significant, but they do show Biden with a nominal lead for the first time. In a high turnout model, Biden has 50% support and Trump has 46%. Trump led in this model by 2 points in September and one point in July. 

In the Georgia Senate races, Republican incumbent David Perdue has lost his lead in Georgia’s regularly scheduled U.S. Senate election. Among all registered voters, Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff is backed by 49% and 46% support Perdue. Among voters who have already cast their ballots, Ossoff holds a 54% to 43% lead. Among those yet to vote, Perdue has a 51% to 42% edge.

The other Senate seat will be decided by a special election, featuring a blanket primary with 20 listed candidates on the November ballot. Democrat Raphael Warnock has pulled into a clear lead, with 41% support among registered voters, up from 21% in September and just 9% in July. 

The battle for second place is very close between two Republicans. Incumbent Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed to the seat earlier this year, has 21% support and Congressman Doug Collins has 18%. 

Joe Biden holds a lead of 4 to 6 points over Donald Trump in Florida, based on different likely voter models in the latest Monmouth University Poll. The Democrat benefits from increased support among younger voters as well as a widening gender gap. 

Among all registered voters in Florida, the race for president stands at 50% for Biden and 45% for Trump. In different likely voter models, the race stands at 51% for Biden and 45% for Trump in a high turnout scenario and 50% to 46% with lower turnout. Biden’s current lead is nearly identical to the likely voter model results in last month’s Monmouth poll.


Gottheimer for Congress released a new ad, “Hate.” The spot highlights his opponent, Frank Pallotta, for his refusal to denounce his support from the Oath Keepers, a homegrown domestic terrorism group in New Jersey, as designated by the New Jersey Department of Homeland Security and Preparedness. The Oath Keepers have a long record of blatant discrimination, racism, and anti-Semitism, and of promoting anti-government and anti-law enforcement activity. Pallotta’s senior campaign advisor is a local leader of the Oath Keepers.  

“Throughout this campaign, Frank Pallotta has lied about his history ripping off veterans and seniors with subprime mortgages, opposed reinstating the critical State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction, and risked lives by refusing to wear a mask. But his refusal to condemn a state-designated homegrown terrorist group is simply unconscionable. New Jersey’s Department of Homeland Security has declared that homegrown violent extremists, including the Oath Keepers, are the greatest threat to the safety of our families. Instead of condemning them, however, Pallotta continues to ‘stand by’ the Oath Keepers and the hate they spew. We urge Frank Pallotta, in the strongest possible terms, to do the right thing and speak out against hate,” said Sam Dorn, Communications Director, Gottheimer for Congress.  

The National Association of Realtors Political Action Committee endorsed Rep. Mikie Sherrill in the race to represent New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representative.

“In her brief tenure on Capitol Hill, Mikie Sherrill has proven herself as someone who understands the importance of real estate, who will fight to defend the American Dream of homeownership, and who is willing to work across party lines to get things done on this country’s behalf,” said Angela Sicoli, NAR’s Federal Policy Coordinator for New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District. “Within her first several months in Congress, she authored key legislation eliminating SALT caps and continues her work to rectify numerous policies that impact her constituents and homeowners across the country.

“Rep. Sherrill has been recognized as a rising star in the freshman class, and she remains a true champion for Realtors here in New Jersey and throughout the United States,” Sicoli concluded.

Republican Frank Pallotta’s campaign released a video on social media blasting Democrat Josh Gottheimer for his position at the notorious Public Relations firm, Burson-Marsteller. 

The beginning of Pallotta’s new video says, “Instead of calling his constituents names like racists, and domestic terrorists, Josh Gottheimer should explain what he did as the Executive Vice President at an unsavory corporation known as Burson-Marsteller.”

Burson-Marsteller is known as the firm hired by the Saudi Arabian government after the 9/11 attacks, various dictatorships, as well as several governments accused of genocide.

Pallotta’s video contains a few clips of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow describing Gottheimer’s firm: 

“When evil needs public relations, evil has Burson-Marsteller on speed dial.”

Rep. Josh Gottheimer launched “Faith Leaders for Josh” with a virtual conversation featuring faith leaders from across the Fifth District, representing the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities. The conversation focused on Gottheimer’s  work reaching across the aisle, helping those in need, and the critical role played by faith leaders during the COVID pandemic.

“Josh represents us, in our values. I support him, I encourage faith leaders and congregants to do the same,” said Reverend Greg Jackson.

“We thank him for his friendship and his good relationship with our community, and look forward, for the best of our country, to continuing to work together to make our country a safer one, a better one, a nicer one for all,” said Imam Moutaz Charaf. 

“The idea that we can work together, that compromise is not a four-letter word is one that we share. Despite the way we are polarized, I think  it’s the way forward, and I thank you for your work reaching across the aisle,” said Rabbi Steven Sirbu.

Rosemary Becchi, Republican candidate in New Jersey’s 11th congressional district, releases radio ad attacking Mikie Sherrill for saying she’s “incredibly proud of my freshman class”—a freshman class that includes Reps. Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“Moderates aren’t proud of radicals on either side of the aisle. Moderates don’t support defunding the police. Moderates don’t support having the government take over our healthcare system.” Becchi said. “Moderates don’t support these things but Mikie Sherrill does because she’s not a moderate. She hid who she was to get elected. Unfortunately for her, she now has a record she must run on.  Mikie Sherrill votes with Ilhan Omar and AOC 91% of the time and votes with Nancy Pelosi’s extreme agenda 99% of the time. That’s not moderate!” Becchi continued.

You can listen to the ad here.

Frank Pallotta, Republican Congressional candidate from New Jersey’s 5th District released the following statement regarding Josh Gottheimer’s Special Interest Donors

“In a live zoom debate last night, it was revealed that my opponent, Josh Gottheimer, receives more than 70% of his campaign donations from outside his state, and nearly 80% from outside of his district; and yet he attacked me for using my own money on my own campaign. Josh has also refused to acknowledge when asked, that he wouldn’t be indebted to those large corporate donors and special interests.

It was also discovered that 10 out of his top 20 donors are Wall Street investment banks, hedge funds and private equity firms, confirming that he would be beholden to their special interests and not to the people in his district who he was elected to serve.

Josh represents the worst of Washington insiders, and the primary reason there is such mistrust in our political process.”

Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill will hold a drive-in, socially distanced get out the vote rally at Montclair State University on Nov. 2. The “Let’s Land This Rally” will highlight the grassroots community enthusiasm in North Jersey heading into Election Day and will feature speakers from across the 11th District. 

“The countdown to November 3rd is coming to a close. We are bringing together our community in a socially distanced way for one final get out the vote push,” said Congresswoman Sherrill. “I am looking forward to safely gathering and getting ready for Election Day with this drive-in.”

Rep. Josh Gottheimer officially launched “Asian-Americans for Josh,” with a virtual conversation featuring Asian-American elected officials and local leaders from across the Fifth District. The conversation was facilitated by Dr. Balpreet Grewal-Virk, Vice President of Community Engagement for Hackensack Meridian Health, and focused on the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, working across the aisle to get things done for North Jersey, supporting local businesses, and combating hate and discrimination in our communities.

Participants included Dumont Council Member Jimmy Chae, Closter Council Member Jannie Chung, and Oradell Council Member Miriam Yu, as well as Dr. Balpreet Grewal-Virk.

Republican candidate Frank Pallotta released events that transpired in April regarding Josh Gottheimer’s refusal to support first responders and Veterans amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Josh Gottheimer loves to mention how much he cares about veterans, seniors, and first responders. However, I think it is important for his district to know that when Josh Gottheimer was asked to visit the grounds of the Paramus Veterans Memorial Home to stand outside the facility and show our Veterans he cares about them, he declined to even show up. 

Former Deputy Commissioner of NJ Military and Veteran Affairs, Mark Piterski said that he personally asked the Congressman to come to the facility in a show of support for our brave Veterans and care workers who had been working around the clock. He even gave the Congressman the option to stand more than 150 feet away from the building, but he still refused to show up. 

Gottheimer’s text response from his own cell phone stated: ‘Right now we are trying to set a good example – unless we absolutely need to be somewhere.’ He also suggested he’s “not essential” and could record ‘a thank you’ instead, so he wouldn’t have to leave his home.

Gottheimer blamed Gov. Murphy’s Executive Order, explaining that the Order declared it ‘non-essential’ for him to be there. It’s clear that Gottheimer could have easily stood in the parking lot more than 50 yards away from the main entrance, to wave to our first responders and affirm his support.

I cannot fathom what went through the Congressman’s head that he couldn’t simply stand alone in a parking lot to acknowledge their service and good work. How ‘non-essential’ are veterans and first responders in his district? These Veterans fought around the globe for our freedom, and Josh couldn’t drive 5 miles to show his respect. He could have worn a mask, or even a hazmat suit, to give our dying veterans and brave health care workers at least a wave of support. Leaders are supposed to lead. Clearly Josh didn’t get that memo.”


Democratic candidate for State Senate Rupande Mehta slammed local and county Republican leaders for repeatedly telling voters there is no in-person voting this year.

Just days before Election Day, Republican organizations in Mine Hill, Randolph, Mendham have all continued to push the same coordinated lie as the Morris County Republican Committee that voters have to vote by mail and do not have the option of voting in-person.

Mehta denounced the Trump-style campaign tactics and called on Republican State Sen. Anthony Bucco to join her in demanding Republican leaders to stop lying to voters.

“It is appalling to see local Republican organizations and the Morris County Republican Committee continue to lie to voters,” said Mehta. “Voters deserve better than to be lied to by local and county Republican leaders and I’m asking Senator Bucco to join me in denouncing these Trump-style tactics. The Senator refused to even take President Trump to task for his historically awful response to the coronavirus so I have very low expectations that he will suddenly put his constituents before his politics. But it would be a nice surprise.”

Cary Amaro has released her final campaign video for Morris County Freeholder ahead of the upcoming election. Cary survived homelessness and an abusive relationship when she was a young woman so she knows what it’s like to live through uncertainty. As a single mother, she raised two children, bought a home, and has led a successful career in finance. Cary Amaro is the American dream and she promises to fight for Morris County families.

A state ballot question that would greenlight the recreational use of marijuana in New Jersey has prompted $2.1 million in fund-raising, according to reports filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).

With the election looming Tuesday, Jeff Brindle, ELEC’s Executive Director, said supporters have raised more than 99 percent of the funds. The latest reports reflect campaign finance activity through October 20.

“Assuming all available funds are spent, the marijuana ballot question already ranks eighth among the top ten most expensive public referenda in the Garden State,” Brindle said.

“There is virtually no chance we will see a new record this year given the nearly $27 million price tag of the 2016 referendum on a proposed casino in Northern New Jersey. It is possible this year’s ballot question may make it into the top five when the final expenses are tallied,” said Brindle.

Jersey City Ward B Councilwoman Mira Priz-Arey has issued her endorsement for Education Matters candidates Gina Verdibello (2I) and Lekendrick Shaw (3I), from her home ward of Jersey City’s westside section.

“I am proud to offer my endorsement and support for Gina Verdibello (2I) and Lekendrick Shaw (3I) of the Education Matters team. The pandemic has called for strong and compassionate leadership and our schools and our youth need board members that know what works to guide us through these challenging times. In the time that I have known Gina Verdibello, she has been a visible and vocal parent advocate in my ward and throughout Jersey City. I can personally attest to her unwavering commitment to the children of Jersey City, both on and off the board, from working to improve school lunches to implementing a pilot program to re-institute cursive writing classes in our schools. Lekendrick Shaw is a product of our city’s public school system and a young entrepreneur. He works to help our youth and worked tirelessly to recruit our young people for the County’s Summer Youth Employment Program. I believe Gina Verdibello and LeKendrick Shaw will continue to work hard to ensure equity and quality in the education of all our children, and will advocate for students, parents and staff of the Jersey City Public Schools.”

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