One candidate worth watching is Jim McSorely, a retired State Police captain who is waging an impressive, low-budget campaign for Mercer County Sheriff. As a Republican, McSorley faces an uphill battle against incumbent Kevin Larkin in heavily Democratic Mercer County; the GOP has not won countywide since 1999. But Larkin is a potentially flawed incumbent, and McSorley does not lack testicular fortitude. A former aide to U.S. Rep. Christopher Smith, McSorley has inherited Smith's political organization in Mercer and seems to share Smith's skills of hard work and grass roots campaigning. Back in 1980, Smith ousted a personally flawed thirteen-term Congressman with little money or organization.
Earlier this week, McSorley criticized Larkin for taking time off on Tuesdays and Fridays to earn extra cash working a private security gig at Kingsbury Towers in Trenton — and for working Saturday nights during the summer checking ID's at a bar in Point Poleasant. With increased gang activity in Trenton, Larkin's penchant for side security jobs isn't a bad issue in a county where they might be an expection of the kind of 24/7 service that made predecessors Samuel Plumeri and Gilbert Lugossey popular.