Two long-shot Democrats running for Assembly in the 40th District yesterday offered Assemblymen Scott Rumana (R-Wayne) and Dave Russo (R-Ridgewood) $100 if they agree to debate them in the three counties that make up the district.
After seeing a letter Rumana sent out to supporters earlier last month in which he appeals for donations for a September 21 fundraiser after being drained by a costly primary campaign, Democrats John Agostinelli and Mark Bombace came up with the novel campaign stunt.
“I’ll write a check right now to their campaign if they agree to a debate in every county of the 40th District,” said Bombace. “With all of the problems facing the 40th District the voters deserve to hear what our Assemblymen have been doing in Trenton.”
Rumana had to defend his Assembly seat and chairmanship of the Passaic County Regular Republican Organization last spring from challenges connected to a splinter Republican group called GOP Strong. He won both races, setting him up to coast through the general election in this traditionally Republican district that is comprised of parts of Bergen, Passaic and Essex Counties.
Rumana could not immediately be reached for comment. Russo, for his part, said that the only debate he and Rumana have been invited to is one in Passaic County on OCtober 21 sponsored by the League of Women Voters, which both he and Rumana plan to attend. He said he will be happy to consider other debates if he is invited.
“I have absolutely no problem with it,” he said. “If they want to contribute $100 it would certainly be nice.”