Lacey Township Democratic Municipal Chairman Barry Bendar won’t seek reelection as party chair in June. Nor will the three time local loser run again for the Lacey Township Committee, as he did in 2003, 2007 and 2008.
But that doesn’t mean Bendar isn’t running – this time in a Democratic Primary, he insists.
“I called the state Division of Elections last week and asked for petitions to run for Congress,” Bendar told PolitickerNJ.com.
His target is freshman U.S. Rep. John Adler (D-Cherry Hill), whom Bendar vigorously supported two years ago but who has taken the party base for granted in a panicked run toward the middle in hard times, by Bendar’s reckoning.
“Personally, I went to a number of the town hall meetings, and my feeling is either you stand for something or you stand for nothing, and the way John Adler’s acted recently, it appears to me he stands for nothing,” said the 52-year old Bendar, a database administrator for an insurance company and married father of two children.
Bendar didn’t like Adler’s “nay” vote on healthcare reform, but his dissatisfaction runs deeper, and spilled into a publicized exchange with Adler at a Berkeley Township town hall meeting in which Bendar believed the congressman was yielding too easily to what he calls the “tea party tirade.”
“People were there yelling about ‘illegal aliens,’ and John Adler was basically going along with the flow,” complained Bendar. “There were a few Democrats there, and Adler appeared to be distancing himself from us. If those are your views, you need to run with the proper party affiliation. This is a congressman pandering to people whose ideology is completely different from my own.”
Not running for municipal chair again but insistent on his ability to still win if he did – even given some bad history with Ocean County Democratic Party Chairman Wyatt Earp, Bendar said write it down – he will be on that June Democratic Primary ballot against Adler.
“We have to stand for fundamental change,” Bendar said.