Joseph Ariyan is raising a lot of money for his race against GOP State Sen. Gerald Cardinale, but he’s not ready to go head-to-head with the veteran incumbent in a joint TV appearance.
The two 39th district candidates were invited to appear this weekend on Channel 9’s New Jersey Now. Cardinale accepted, but Ariyan, a first time candidate, declined.
Cardinale said he was mystified that Ariyan would turn down the opportunity to appear on a New York TV program, especially since New Jersey candidates constantly complain that New York and Philadelphia TV ignore local campaigns in New Jersey.
“It’s strange. We don’t get a lot of opportunity to be interviewed by New York broadcast media. I can’t fathom why someone who purports to want to get out there and meet the people would not take advantage of that,” said Cardinale.
Jennifer Chirco, Ariyan’s campaign manager, said that the format of the show was not a debate, and that the network gave them less than two days’ notice for the taping, which would have taken place this afternoon. She added that as a brand new and not yet well-known candidate, Ariyan’s schedule was too booked between his law firm and his campaigning to participate on such short notice. Chirco said she offered to reschedule the taping in the future.
“Maybe that Cardinale just shows up on a dime with as much notice as we had, that’s just a reflection of how he’s using his time,” said Chirco.