Republicans thought they hit op research gold when they realized that the husband of Democratic Assembly candidate Tracy Riley, running in the suddenly competitive eighth district, was the court-appointed lawyer representing one of the men accused on a plan to kill soldiers at Fort Dix. In a mailer sent out last week, the three GOP candidates said: “Now, Tracy Riley’s Family Law Firm is Defending Him … Tracy Riley: Whose values will she represent in Trenton? Ours? Or theirs?”
Yesterday, Riley’s husband told Federal Judge Robert Kugler that the mailer could contaminate the jury pool. Kugler (whose father was the New Jersey Attorney General under Republican Governor William Cahill) took an unusual step for a federal jurist: he bashed the GOP, calling the mailer despicable. And he admonished one of Riley’s opponents, Dawn Addiego, saying that as a lawyer, she should know better.
But Addiego disagreed, and suggested that Judges should stay out of political campaigns.