The last campaign stop for the 14th district Democratic Assembly candidates was a low key one.
After a whirlwind day of visiting union halls and polling places, Linda Greenstein and Wayne DeAngelo spent about 15 minutes of the chilly night outside of an Acme Supermarket in Hamilton. They were joined by Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts.
But there weren’t many votes left to get here among the few shoppers coming and going. As one woman left the store, DeAngelo asked for her vote.
“I already did,” she said. “Which party are you guys with?”
“Democrats,” said DeAngelo.
“Oh, then you got my vote,” said the woman.
DeAngelo, the president of the Mercer County Building Trades Council, is the toss-up in this race, with Republican Bill Baroni the strong favorite for state Senate seat and Greenstein favored to win her Assembly seat. He’s banking on his labor background to push him past Republicans Tom Goodwin and Adam Bushman.
DeAngelo started his day speaking to an electricians union at 7:00am, then moved on to the Mercer County Central Labor Council at 1:00, then hit a Carpenters Hall to speak to Local 3781 at 4:00 – visiting polling places in between.
“I told the people when I addressed them that although I’m the person that’s up there, this is their seat…. I’m just a part of them,” said DeAngelo. “It’s not about Wayne DeAngelo, it’s about organized labor.”
If the voters were familiar with any of the politicians today, it might have been Linda Greenstein, who’s been at the receiving end of a quarter million dollar attack campaign from an outside group called Common Sense America. Some observers have even speculated that the attacks could help Greenstein win another term by increasing her name recognition. Greenstein, however, doesn’t see it that way.
“It’s hard to say, but the impression everyone has at the moment is it might be a wash. Some people say it helps, but I don’t know about that,” said Greenstein. “With all the work I’ve done in the Assembly. I still think that my name has been out there before it started.”
Despite the set back that the group posed to the Clean Elections program, Roberts championed it and said that he will work to expand it for the next election cycle to include primary elections.
“I’m a big believer. Everyone who talks about pay to play or transparency in donations, encouraging non-traditional candidates to run, supporting more women to run in NJ – clean lections tackles all those problems.”
After they had handed out a few flyers, a store employee came out and apologized to the politicians, who just happened to include one of the most powerful figures in the state. Soliciting was against store policy. They would have to move on.