By most measures, Gloucester County should be a politically competitive place.
Its towns are mostly rural and suburban, it has a large blue collar population, and it only went for John Kerry over George W. Bush by about 6,000 votes in the last presidential election.
But over the last decade, Democrats – aided in part by George Norcross’ powerful political machine in neighboring Camden County, the political prowess of native son Stephen Sweeney and plenty of Republicans willing to switch parties – have had little trouble holding on to full control of the county’s government and taking over the majority of most towns’ elected offices.
Maybe they say it every year, but Republicans feel that this time they may be able to pry at least one county-wide seat out of the Democrats’ grasp: the one that belongs to Freeholder Warren Wallace, whose re-election comes about just as his one-time political ally – former State Sen. Wayne Bryant – faces a corruption trial over a job he held at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), where Wallace worked as associate dean for academic and student affairs for School of Osteopathic Medicine before being dismissed over accusations of unethical behavior. In 2006, he was accused of shredding documents while the school was being investigated.
In May, Wallace filed a lawsuit against the school, charging racial discrimination over his firing. But he may be called to testify at Bryant’s trial as a “person of interest” – further associating him with the former state Senator.
“We absolutely have a real shot at it,” said political consultant Steve Kush, who this year is running the Republican freeholder candidates’ communications shop. “The proof is in the pudding.”
Republicans Phyllis Scapellato, Larry Wallace and Dan Roberts are running against Democratic incumbents Wallace, Sweeney (the state Senate Majority Leader who reconsidered his decision not to run for freeholder again) and Frank DiMarco. Roberts replaced Frank Stellaccio, who dropped out in June.
The pudding, according to Kush: a letter Democratic counsel Timothy Chell sent to Gloucester County Republicans, warning candidates not to use several claims about Wallace recently outlined in a Philadelphia Inquirer article. He thinks its proof that the Democrats are running scared.
“Any use of the factual inaccuracies published in the Inquirer will be considered actionable by the Gloucester County Democratic Party and Dr. Warren S. Wallace personally,” wrote Chell.Read More >
Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, the former Governor of Vermont who ran for president in 2004, will be in Gloucester County next week to headline an Obama fundraiser.
The event will be hosted by Logan Township Mayor Frank Minor and Dr. Marie Young at the Gloucester County Dream Park next Friday night.Read More >
Jan Pine, known in state political circles as the Chief of Staff to veteran State Sen. Raymond Zane, has accused Logan Mayor Frank Minor of “unwanted physical touching, offensive sexual language and other behaviors designed to prey upon her emotions,” according to a report in the Gloucester County Times. Pine has filed a lawsuit against Minor and Logan Township, where she served as Township Administrator before being fired in 2006.Read More >
A polling memo prepared by a company with ties to Gov. Chris Christie shows public support for red light cameras.Read More >
Belmar mayor's race: a wave of post-Sandy project politics stirs up seaside Monmouth borough BELMAR - When Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty rolled out his re-election campaign in February, he did so still basking in the glow of what many residents of the 6,000-person Monmouth County seaside borough saw...
By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students. The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >
"Christie’s method for coping with scandal has been more complicated. In January, the seemingly-local issue of lane closings on the George Washington Bridge, which created a massive traffic jam in the Hudson River town of Fort Lee, became one of national interest when it was revealed that one of Christie’s closest staffers had ordered them—for what looked like political retribution against a Democratic mayor. The scandal was quickly dubbed 'Bridgegate,' and unfortunately for Christie, it played into his reputation as a bully. Christie's response was to act unlike himself: humble." - Olivia Nuzzi- The Daily Beast
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