Cumberland County Freeholder Director Lou Magazzu today said that speculation he will drop his reelection bid is “fiction.”
“The answer is hell no,” said Magazzu, who is also the Cumberland County Democratic chairman. “Let’s review the facts: I have been the top vote-getter four out of four times, by a lot. Our polling and other polling shows that I am the most well-known of al of the 12 or 13 candidates, by a lot.”
An Inside Edge item this morning held that some South Jersey Democrats, concerned about political fallout from Magazzu’s unsuccessful campaign for a leadership post in the National Association of Counties (NACo), are talking about the prospect of him switching out for another candidate.
Magazzu and his two Democratic running mates are competing against a slate of three independent former Democratic freeholders and a slate of three Republicans.
“This is just fiction from the Republicans and the renegades, as is this so-called NACo scandal,” said Magazzu. “There is no NACo scandal – no newspaper reporters have called me about it except in response the press release by the two teams.”
Magazzu on Friday released a list of contributors to the nearly $80,000 fund he used to campaign for NACo’s Second Vice Presidency this year. Republicans jumped on the list this morning, issuing a press release that called into question a $5,000 donation made by Fralinger Engineering on March 6 – just one week after the freeholders approved it for a contract for surveying services for the county’s planning board.
Magazzu, however, said that he merely voted to approve Fralinger after a three member panel from the county Department of Planning and Development recommended them (Magazzu was one of six yes votes. Freeholder Bill Whelan abstained).
The panel chose Fralinger from a pool of 12 applicants in January, according to a memo provided by County Administrator Ed McCouch. Although the firm charged the highest hourly rate of all the applicants, the panel said that the expense was “offset by their physical proximity and extensive records reducing the amount of time needed to complete a job.”
One of the three finalist firms for the contract was Adams Rehmann & Heggan, which donated $5,000 to Magazzu’s NACo account one day after Fralinger got the contract.
“Look at (Cumberland County Republican Chairman) Bob Greco last year, when he was zero for five. He said they were going to make me the issue and they’re going to win everything.” said Magazzu. “I predict an equal amount of success this year.”