In Burlington County Freeholder race, experience is a liability

Burlington County Freeholder candidate Joe Donnelly said today that his opponent, Tom Bader, is hiding his political experience in order to appear as a political neophyte with no connection to Democrats in Camden county.

But Bader responded that the attack was “absurd,” and that he has never sought to cover up his record of government experience.

At issue is Bader’s year-and-a-half stint on the Oaklyn Borough Council, which is in Camden County. Donnelly pointed to a news article that reported that Bader was “appointed to fill the final year of a borough council member in Oaklyn.” Donnelly said that Bader’s campaign literature de-emphasized his political experience.

“By claiming to be a political newcomer, Bader is trying desperately to keep his connections to the Camden County political bosses out of public view,” said Donnelly, who added that Bader voted to property taxes by 20% during his time on the council.

But Bader, who ran for a seat on the Moorestown Council in 2000, responded that the language of the newspaper article, which did not quote him as saying that he was appointed, was off. He was elected to fill the Oaklyn Council seat of a deceased council member after running unopposed, and vacated it after moving out of Oaklyn in July, 2006. Bader said he didn’t recollect much about his time on the council.

“I think the whole thing is absurd. There’s never been any effort on my part to distance myself,” said Bader.

In Burlington County Freeholder race, experience is a liability