EAST BRUNSWICK – A recording of a brass band plays here in a pitch perfect replication of the 1980 Republican National Convention as the camps of “Halfacre” and “Sipprelle” surge into the Midlesex County Vocational School and prepare for pitched political combat.
Fair Haven Mayor Michael Halfacre launched his 12th District bid for GOP backing last summer, months ahead of Princeton venture capitalist Scott Sipprelle, who’s hoping his relative lack of time as a candidateis offset by the backing of nascent party chairman Assemblyman Sam Thompson (R-Old Bridge).
It went ugly early, the Halfacre-Sipprelle rivarly, with the former seizing on Sipprelle’s mulitiple campaign donations to Democrats and Sipprelle chastising the small town mayor for bad-mouthing Obama stimulus funds while quietly applying for and accepting the funds.
The winner of this Middlesex County GOP Convention will earn more than the line in Middlesex for the right to challenge U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-Hopewell Twp.), but momentum heading toward the Monmouth Convention.
That one’s on Monday, and is a secret ballot screening.
Sipprelle already has the lines in Mercer and Somerset counties, but Middlesex and Monmouth combined make up 66% of the congressional district’s Republican votes.