The feud between congressional candidate Alex Law, his primary opponent and the chairman of Bernie Sanders’ New Jersey campaign continued this week as Law raised objections to fliers that claim incumbent Donald Norcross has the endorsements of both the Sanders campaign and the campaign of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The fliers claim that Norcross is “[endorsed] by both the Clinton and Sanders campaigns.” State Assemblyman and Sanders campaign chair John Wisniewski (D-19) called Norcross’ campaign materials an accurate reflection of his endorsement for the congressman. Wisniewski has had a combative relationship with the Sanders-backing Law campaign since endorsing Norcross back in January.
“Norcross is clearly trying to mislead voters by saying the Sanders campaign has endorsed him,” Law said by phone. “He’s just stretching the endorsement of his friend and colleague Wisniewski, which does not mean that he should be using Bernie Sanders’ name.”
The ads do not specify whether those endorsements come from the state level. Wisniewski told PolitickerNJ that he believes Law is splitting hairs. Wisniewski previously appeared at a campaign event for Norcross, where he spoke alongside Democratic Vice-Chairwoman Lizette Delgado-Polanco, a surrogate for Clinton — though Delgado-Polanco came out strong for Clinton in her remarks that day, Wisniewski did not mention Sanders’ name when he spoke from the podium.
“I endorse Donald Norcross,” Wisniewski said when asked about the state campaign’s official endorsement. “And I think that it is pathetic that Alex Law’s entire campaign is based upon parsing one campaign flier about an endorsement. He knows that I personally endorsed Donald Norcross, and there are a lot more important issues in this year’s election cycle.
“The fact that I endorsed Donald because I served with him in the Assembly and served with him as a DNC member is not what this campaign is all about,” he added.
Law pointed to Sanders’ personal endorsements of congressional candidates Lucy Flores of Nevada, Zephyr Teachout of New York, and Pramila Jayapal of Washington state. The 25 year-old Camden County native said that Norcross’ claim goes against the spirit of the endorsements Sanders has made himself.
Flores, Teachout and Jayapal have all pursued progressive anti-corruption agendas. Law has accused Norcross, the brother of South Jersey Democratic boss George Norcross III, of political patronage for developers and private sector interests throughout his campaign. Norcross sponorsed legislation creating the “Grow NJ” program, which offers tax incentives to businesses that relocate to the first congressional district’s city of Camden.
“Bernie Sanders has only endorsed three candidates for Congress,” Law said. “They’re all women, and none of them are named Norcross.” But they’re also running against Republicans, not fellow Democrats.