Democrats say that West Windsor Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh, an independent, has agreed not to endorse Republican candidates outside of local politics in exchange for no Democratic opposition in his re-election campaign in May. His deal helps him avoid a three-way race and leaves him with one opponent, Councilman Charles Morgan, a Republican.
Hsueh has annoyed Democrats in recent years with his support of Republican Bill Baroni in races for the Senate and Assembly. He has reportedly agreed to support Democratic incumbents Linda Greenstein and Wayne DeAngelo in their Assembly bid next year, and not to endorse Baroni in 2011. Four years ago, Baroni backed Hsueh’s re-election bid, while Greenstein helped then-Councilwoman Allison Miller.
The opponent Hsueh was most concerned about was Frank Giambatese, Jr., a former Councilman and active Democrat. Giambatese’s father is the Mayor of South Brunswick.
In Hamilton, Democrats think they’ve found an issue with legs: an e-mail sent out by former Republican Councilman Jack Lacy that compared President Barack Obama’s inauguration to the evacuation of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. “I’m confused,” Lacy wrote. “How can two million blacks get into Washington, D.C., in sub zero (temperatures) in one day when 200,000 couldn’t get out of New Orleans at 85 degrees with four days notice?”
Lacy has apologized for what he thought was a joke, but local Democrats are pointing out that Republican Councilman David Kenny, who defended Lacy in a Trenton Times story, received $8,000 from Lacy for a joint campaign account with two other GOP Councilmen.
New Jersey has a history of forgiving politicians who get in trouble for racial or ethnic jokes. In early 2000, the U.S. Senate campaign of first-time candidate Jon Corzine nearly collapsed after published reports that he told a joke that offended members of the Italian-American community.