Cape May GOP wants both Assembly seats in District 1

GOP insiders say that Cape May County Republicans want to nominate two Assembly candidates to run against Democratic incumbents Jefferson Van Drew and Nelson Albano in 2007. Cumberland County has the Senate seat and Republican Nicholas Asselta of Vineland will head the legislative ticket. Trenton Republicans had been pushing a slate of Cape Mayor County Freeholder (and Sea Isle Mayor) Leonard Desiderio and former Cumberland County Freeholder James Sauro. In a district the George W. Bush carried in 2004, Van Drew won a massive landslide in his bid for a third term last year: he finished almost 9,000 votes ahead of his running mate, nearly 16,000 votes ahead of the Republican incumbent, and more than 24,000 votes in front of the other GOP candidate. Helped by Van Drew’s coattails, state Democratic money and numerous mistakes by the state GOP, Albano, a Vineland labor official and advocate for tough drunk driving laws, defeated six-term Republican Jack Gibson by 6,749 votes. Gibson trailed Albano in Cape May County by 107 votes (running more than 2,000 votes behind the GOP Sheriff and County Clerk candidates). Gibson, who lost to Van Drew in 2001 and returned in 2003, is possibly the only Assemblyman in modern New Jersey history to lose the same seat twice. Republicans were in trouble in April 2005 when their candidate for the second, seat, Upper Township Committeeman Andrew McCrosson, forgot to file his nominating petitions. That left a perennial gadfly, George Cecola, unopposed. State Republicans tried to mount a write-in campaign to nominate Sauro, but without the support of Cape May Republicans, they failed, allowing Cecola to take the second slot.

Cape May GOP wants both Assembly seats in District 1