North-JerseyNews.com

North-JerseyNews.Com’s Weekly Campaign Notebook For April 17

As we get closer to the June 8 primary election, North-JerseyNews.com will post a weekly notebook of press releases produced by the candidates.

Governor

Murphy for Governor 2021 announced that Gov. Phil Murphy has filed 51,367 petition signatures with the New Jersey Division of Elections, eclipsing the previous state record as strong grassroots support continues to drive momentum for the Governor’s reelection. The previous record of 43,042 petition signatures was set by Governor Murphy during his 2017 gubernatorial primary campaign.

“I’m incredibly proud to have earned the support of an inclusive, grassroots coalition that shares our commitment to a future that is wholly different from what we inherited,” said Murphy. “Each signature represents the fire and fervor we’re seeing from Democrats across the state to build on our progress to move New Jersey forward.”

“Even as we confront the challenges of a once in a century pandemic, New Jerseyans know that we can’t afford to go back to the old ways of doing things that left working and middle-class families behind,” continued Murphy. “Together, we’ll continue to lay the foundation for a stronger and fairer New Jersey that works for every family.”

***

MBA/CPA, successful small business owner, and GOP frontrunner for governor, Jack Ciattarelli, slammed Governor Phil Murphy for his latest dishonest retreat on a campaign promise. Phil Murphy ran against the Atlantic City takeover four years ago. Murphy’s done nothing about the takeover in the four years he’s been governor. Now, he wants to extend it indefinitely.

“Five years ago, Governor Murphy looked Atlantic City local leaders, employees, and residents in the eye and opposed the takeover of their community. Now, after four years of doing nothing to end it, his lieutenant governor is poking a finger in the eye of everyone in the city by telling them the state is going to lord over them for another four to five years. It’s no wonder people don’t trust politicians,” said Ciattarelli.

“Governor Murphy sits high on a hill in his multi-million dollar mansion in North Jersey claiming he knows how to best run Atlantic City. It’s time to end this ridiculous takeover and restore local control. Let the elected officials in Atlantic City and Atlantic County figure out how to best move this city forward.”

In 2016, gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy said that state takeovers didn’t work and amount to, in his words, ‘bigfooting’ the local community. Despite those claims, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, said “We’ve been there coming up on five years in November. I believe another four to five years in Atlantic City and I think Atlantic City will be on good footing.”

***

The Democratic Governors Association released a video highlighting how Jack Ciattarelli wants to bring New Jersey back to the Christie administration.

As a longtime state legislator, Ciattarelli was a huge supporter of the Christie administration, helping Chris Christie attack teachers, public servants, and women’s reproductive health care. He also helped Christie drag New Jersey’s credit rating down eleven times. Ciattarelli and his family even generously donated $16,000 to advance Christie’s political career.

Phil Murphy has worked to undo the mess Ciattarelli and Christie created and made New Jersey strong—boosting the minimum wage to $15/hr by 2024 and supporting teachers, small businesses, and working families.

“Jack Ciattarelli wants to drag New Jersey backwards into the failed days of the Chris Christie era,” said DGA Senior Communications Advisor Christina Amestoy. “Under Gov. Murphy, New Jersey has made tremendous progress on affordable health care, public education, and support for working families. New Jersey can’t afford to go back with Jack – it’s time to move forward and build a stronger, fairer New Jersey.”

***

In a new digital ad that it will begin running in New Jersey and Virginia, the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) is highlighting the hypocrisy and self-defeating results of the Democrats’ cancel culture crusade. The ad is backed by a five figure buy, will run in multiple targeted districts in each state, and is the first paid media initiative the RSLC has launched in either state ahead of their 2021 legislative elections.

“Hardest Hit,” a 30-second spot, emphasizes that the Democrats’ recent lie-based pressure campaign that forced the Major League Baseball All Star Game to move from Atlanta will harm the very minority communities liberals claim to champion the most. It notes that the same cancel culture tactics that will cost Georgia $100 million could be waged against New Jerseyans and Virginians if they don’t reject the Democrats at the polls in November.

“Democrats claim to be the ultimate defenders of minority communities, but their willingness to trample on Atlanta’s economy to advance their partisan political agenda shows their true colors,” said RSLC President Dee Duncan. “Now that the woke cancel culture mob knows it can get its way by peddling lies and threatening the economic well-being of anyone that disagrees with them, there is no telling whose livelihood will be next. Voters in New Jersey and Virginia were watching what happened in Georgia and know that state Republicans are their only line of defense against the Democrats’ cancel culture hypocrisy.”

***

Gov. Phil Murphy recently announced a series of gun violence prevention measures to further strengthen New Jersey’s nationally recognized gun safety laws, which have reduced gun-related deaths in the state to among the lowest per capita rate in the country

Meanwhile, Republican gubernatorial candidate and gun lobby ally Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli told supporters earlier this week, “we should repeal certain laws that have made legal firearms obsolete.”

Ciattarelli has publicly bashed New Jersey’s gun laws for years, claiming they’ve gone “too far,” but has yet to provide any solutions to keep New Jerseyans safe from gun violence. In fact, Assemblyman Ciattarelli opposed a ban on military-style .50 caliber weapons and voted twice to back Chris Christie’s veto of a magazine ban, which families of children killed in the Sandy Hook massacre called a “slap in the face.”

Ciattarelli, as is his usual approach, has also mimicked Christie’s call for rushing through gun permit applications and relaxing concealed carry laws, a policy opposed by two-thirds of New Jerseyans. Why? Because he’s talked to a couple of truck drivers and realtors who’d like to carry a concealed, deadly weapon on the job.

“While Governor Murphy has enacted among the strongest gun safety laws in the nation, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli wants to roll back our progress to put the gun lobby ahead of New Jersey families,” said Murphy for Governor Spokesman Jerrel Harvey. “New Jerseyans need a Governor who fights to protect them from gun violence, and Assemblyman Ciattarelli’s out-of-touch, pro-gun agenda is too extreme for New Jersey.”

State Senate and Assembly

Valerie Vainieri Huttle, candidate for State Senate in District 37, called on opponent Gordon Johnson to agree to three debates prior to the June 8th primary.

“Far too often, the decision on who will appear on our ballot is left up to power brokers with no input from voters. Not this time. I am running to give voice to the voters of the 37th Legislative District. Voters deserve a say in this process and they deserve the opportunity to hear from all candidates about their records, platform and plans. If you want people to vote for you then letting them know where you stand is step one.”

“I am calling on Gordon Johnson to participate in at least 3 public debates prior to the June 8th primary. My opponent wants to rely on the power of the county line to get him elected, unlike Gordon, I am speaking directly to voters about their concerns and sharing my plans for a stronger Bergen County and New Jersey. When they hear about my work to protect nursing home residents during the pandemic, fighting for pay equity, a higher minimum wage and protecting sexual assault survivors, they know I use my voice to be their voice.”

***

The NJ Doctor-Patient Alliance strongly endorsed John Azzariti M.D candidacy for Assembly in the 39th Legislative District.

“This past year has been challenging for all New Jerseyans. It has been even more so for those of us who have had to endure as a frontline provider or patient during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic,” said the alliance in a written statement. “What was an already difficult profession became almost impossible, as we grappled with a new and frightening disease. Anyone who had to provide healthcare as a physician, or seek it as a patient knew that to step foot into a hospital could mean a very real and imminent threat to ones own life.”

“The pandemic similarly challenged our state government with how best to serve the citizens of NJ, and for this reason, John Azzariti M.D., has sought to fill the vacant seat for assembly in the 39th district. John, himself an Anesthesiologist at the Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, has bravely and selflessly worked to save lives by managing airways of critically ill COVID patients from the first day of the pandemic, while risking his own life in the process. His selflessness and courage in the face of a potentially fatal disease is a testament to his character and dedication to his community. Trenton needs the voice of a physician now more than ever, and John has been a staunch advocate for patients and physicians in various advocacy roles for the last 15 years.”

“As the NJ state government prepares to heal from the pandemic, we can think of no better way than to elect John to the Assembly in order to bring a physician’s understanding and guidance.”

***

In a statement of support, Tenafly Councilman Daniel Park endorsed Gordon Johnson for State Senate as well as Shama Haider and Ellen Park for State Assembly in Legislative District 37.

“This ticket makes me proud to be a part of the Democratic Party. It’s a distinct pleasure to be able to endorse a group of people I deeply respect, admire, and believe in. There has been no greater advocate for the Korean community in Trenton than Gordon Johnson, and today we have the opportunity to send him to the State Senate alongside Ellen Park, a fearless leader who would be the first Korean American woman legislator in New Jersey history.”

“Shama Haider has been a mentor, friend, and ally. She was the person who first asked me to run for Council in Tenafly, because she understood the vital need for Asian representation in our borough. All three members of this historic ticket bring new perspectives and different experiences and together, they are a perfect representation of the diversity and values of this district. I can’t wait to watch them make history come November.”

***

Statement by Teaneck Councilwoman Gervonn Romney Rice, candidate for General Assembly in District 37, on uses of Green Acres funds requested by Assemblyman Gordon Johnson. 

“Last night, the Teaneck Council pushed through a resolution in support of Gordon Johnson’s request to the Department of Environmental Protection that Teaneck be permitted to divert funds from the Green Acres Program for alternate uses.  I abstained on this ill-conceived policy proposal because there are too many questions and too many concerns. The Green Acres Program was established to provide municipalities with funding for the acquisition of land that will be transformed into a park, the development of park facilities, or the rehabilitation of historic properties.  While the impetus behind this rushed request is unclear, what is clear is that this is bad policy that hasn’t explored all the possible options that could be in the best interests of the taxpayers. As community leaders we should be promoting conservation, not finding loopholes around it. As Councilwoman, I am dedicated to serving the interests of my community, not making back-door deals that don’t serve the public good and threaten our environment.”

***

In the 2020 election, Republican candidates around the country improved their standing with Hispanic and Latino communities. To further engage with this community, the New Jersey Republican Party is proud to launch a new part of its website, NJGOP en Español (NJGOP.org/espanol). This page provides general information on what the GOP stands for and introduces our leaders.

 New Jersey Republicans are a big tent party, welcoming people of all backgrounds who support our core values and priorities of freedom, limited government, with a focus on reducing government spending, lowering taxes, and growing jobs. The party will continue to engage with the Hispanic and Latino communities in various ways moving forward.

“Over the last several years, the Republican Party has made great strides to reach out to voters that predominantly speak spanish and this new website will ensure that voters across New Jersey have the opportunity to learn more about the Republican Party in New Jersey,” said Chairman Michael Lavery. “We will continue to reach out to this community and ensure that spanish speaking voters in New Jersey know that Governor Murphy and his radical liberal colleagues have failed our state, that leading Democrats support socialist-style policies on the federal level, and that it is time to elect strong Republican leaders for a better New Jersey.”

***

Through the legal intercession of BCRO Chairman Jack Zisa and its attorney, Matthew Moensch, Esq., the two District 38 Assembly candidates, Al Mastrofilipo, Jr. and Jerry Taylor, won their case before NJ Administrative Law Judge Andrew Baron. T

They join their running mate, State Senate candidate Richard Garcia, as the officially endorsed District 38 Republican ticket this year.

Chairman Zisa stated, “I take ballot access issues very seriously. Early on the BCRO engaged with the NJGOP general counsel, Matthew Moensch, Esq., to represent these candidates, and the evidence was straightforward. We look forward to a robust campaign focused on what’s important to the residents of the 38th District.”

***

Local

The International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 825 announced its endorsement of Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla for re-election.

“Even before the pandemic struck, Mayor Bhalla had proven his ability to be an effective municipal leader. From tackling some of Hoboken’s toughest infrastructure needs like Washington Street, to putting local residents to work and then keeping them safe as COVID-19 surged – Ravi has excelled at every challenge put in front of him, “Greg Lalevee, Business Manager of IUOE Local 825. “The hard-working men and women of Local 825 have a true partner and champion with Mayor Ravi Bhalla in office and we are proud to support him for re-election.”

***

Individuals from throughout New Jersey attended the fundraising kickoff event last Thursday night to support Sussex County Board of County Commissioners Director Dawn Fantasia and Commissioner Chris Carney, who vowed to continue to fight for Sussex County values.

New Jersey GOP Chairman Michael Lavery and Warren County Republican Committee Chairman Douglas Steinhardt hosted the fundraiser for Fantasia and Carney at Mattar’s Bistro in Allamuchy.

Fantasia noted how the Murphy Administration has also shortchanged Sussex County in what it receives in COVID vaccines, closed state parks during the pandemic and shuttered one-third of the state’s businesses.

“We [the Commissioners] had to do so much fancy footwork to be able to fill those gaps [without the CARES funding] to serve the needs of our residents,” Fantasia said. “We are in a situation where Sussex County was consistently on the defensive, but no more, now we’re on the offensive.” 

“We’ll continue to fight for our values that make us who we are, and this Commissioner Board will never go down in history as one that kept their mouths shut,” Fantasia said. “If you value what Sussex County offers and what Warren County offers and what this corner of the state offers New Jersey, we need each and every one of you.”

Carney, who filled the unexpired term of Commissioner Joshua Hertzberg after Hertzberg decided to return to serve on the Sparta Township Council, described himself as a “straight shooter,” who provides firm answers on issues, and strives for effective communications among the Commissioners and the County of Sussex.

“We need to be united as a whole,” Carney said. “That’s what I want to continue to do, is to get things done. I won’t take grief from anybody and I have a backbone.”

Fantasia said when she and Hertzberg were elected, the duo provided fair representation for county employees, whose contract negotiations had previously dragged for an extensive time.

Carney said as a union employee himself, he, Fantasia and the other commissioners are seeking to have individuals with skilled trades hired directly by the county, to save the taxpayers money.

“That’s what we’re about, being conservatives in Sussex County and saving some money for everybody,” Carney said.

Prior to serving on the Board, Fantasia, who is employed as a principal in a Bergen County charter school, served on Franklin Borough’s Council, including as its Council President.

Carney previously served on the Frankford Township Committee for two years and was Frankford Township’s Mayor in 2020.

“You don’t have to look any further than Sussex and Warren Counties to see that Republicans generally, conservatives specifically, are under attack in every county in New Jersey,” Steinhardt said. “It’s not just folks that believe in good government, but it’s folks that believe in the Constitution, folks that believe in family, folks that believe in hard work.”

State Sen. Steve Oroho (R-24) introduced Fantasia and Carney to the attendees, on behalf of Legislative District 24.

“It’s commissioners like this on our Commissioner Board in Sussex County, who are going to keep Sussex the envy of New Jersey,” Oroho said of Fantasia and Carney. “They’re responsible, they’ve got good character, they’ve got great families, and they’re the example of what the rest of New Jersey should be.”

***

For the first time in township history, registered Democratic voters now outnumber registered Republican voters in Parsippany. As of April 1, the township is home to 11,700 registered Democrats and 11,659 registered Republicans.

“We’ve been seeing a shift towards the Democratic Party for several years in Parsippany,” said Parsippany Democratic Chair Matt Clarkin. “Part of that has been extensive engagement with the community by our volunteers. But a lot of it has been a natural shift as the Republican Party has moved far to the right of Parsippany voters.”

Three years ago, Parsippany was home to 9,427 registered Democrats and 11,916 registered Republicans. In just three years, Democrats have gained 2,273 voters, while Republicans have lost 257 voters.

“Parsippany is a diverse and inclusive community,” said Morris County Democratic Political Director Leslye Moya. “Parsippany is very lucky to have Michael Soriano as Mayor. The township’s sustained shift towards Democrats and his successful tenure make us confident that Mayor Soriano will be comfortably re-elected.”

Parsippany Democrats have also seen greater success at the ballot box in recent years. In 2020, both Joe Biden and Cory Booker won the township by 12 points. Mikie Sherrill won the township by 14 points, and Democratic Freeholder candidate Cary Amaro won Parsippany by 9 points.

***

An extraordinary outpouring of small dollar donations in the first quarter of 2021 shows an unprecedented level of grassroots support for James Solomon in his re-election campaign to the Jersey City Council’s downtown seat.

This cycle, the Solomon for Council Re-election Campaign reports a total of 1,016 grassroots donors with more than 654 from residents of Jersey City. This quarter, the campaign reports raising $86,000 in total donations with a median donation of $50.

James Solomon is fighting on behalf of downtown residents against the Hudson County Political Machine and their special interest donors. This fundraising total demonstrates that he enjoys broad based support from voters of Jersey City.

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