Democrats digested the 3rd District fund-raising totals with glee today as second quarter campaign coffers show state Sen. John Adler (D-Camden) with a $1.9 million to $155,406 advantage over Medford Mayor Chris Myers, the Republican nominee to succeed U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton (R-3).
Myers shook off the news this week by trying to turn Adler’s positive report into a negative.
"He’s going to need every penny to defend his terrible record," Myers told PolitickerNJ.com.
Temporary fund-raising totals aside, the Medford mayor believes Adler’s Trenton establishment background should sink him with property tax-bedeviled voters as the Democrat attempts his climb toward Washington.
"He has no credibility," said Myers, a vice president with Lockheed Martin and decorated first Gulf War veteran who was born in the 3rd District.
But the Adler campaign burnished the fund-raising numbers today alongside a summary of endorsements coming from organizations that have typically supported the Republican candidate in this district.
"John Adler has received the endorsement of groups that once backed Rep. Saxton, such as the Sierra Club, Recreational Fishing Alliance, Teamsters, and FOP, because Adler will be the biggest advocate for the district," Adler campaign manager Raiyan Syed said. "Thousands of people from Ocean, Burlington, and Camden counties are donating their time and money to help elect John Adler because he represents the change we need in Washington."
The Myers campaign stayed focused on the fact that they just emerged from spending half a million dollars on an inter-county primary, which their candidate won decisively.
And Myers’s handlers seized their campaign’s downbeat moment this week to depict Adler, the son of a dry cleaner turned attorney, as an ambitious, out-of-touch politico with questionable campaign cash flow.
"John Adler has been raising money for this campaign for nearly five years, Chris Myers has been doing it for six months," said Myers campaign manager Chris Russell. "Adler has moved hundreds of thousands of dollars from a previous federal account into his congressional campaign account and circumvented state law by unethically taking money from Atlantic City gambling interests at the same time he presided over nominations to the Casino Control Commission and Casino Redevelopment Authority as Chairman of the State Senate Judiciary Committee in Trenton."
The Adler campaign admits the Democratic nominee had a U.S. Senate account, but legally made a $190,000 transfer to his campaign for U.S. Congress. He raised $36,000 from the casino industry legally and in a fashion not dissimilar from former state Sen. William Gormley ®-Atlantic), who tried unsuccessfully to go national in part with casino dollars.
Although Republicans have owned the seat since the 19th Century, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) won the third district 51-49 in 2000, Bush sweated out just a two point victory in 2004 and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Thomas Kean won a white-knuckler here by two points in losing statewide to U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) in 2006.
Banking on a combination of his own aggressive style coupled with what he sees as the plundering effects of Bush on the economy, Adler believes he can gut his way to a Democratic Party victory.