It’s about the person, not the party, insists East Brunswick Democratic Mayor David Stahl, who today formally endorsed attorney Marcia Silva, a Republican Assembly candidate, in the 18th Legislative District.
“Simply put, I think some career politicians in Washington and Trenton just don’t get it. This election year, however, I believe there is a candidate for the Assembly who actually gets it, and that’s why I am supporting Marcia Silva for the Assembly in the 18th District,” Stahl said. “Marcia has all the characteristics that we want in the people we elect to represent us.”
Despite Stahl’s insistence that he has no intention of changing parties – “I’m a Democrat – this is not an endorsement of the Republican Party platform” – Democratic sources immediately badmouthed Stahl’s selection, citing the mayor’s and Silva’s co-ownership of a building that houses their separate law practices.
That rankled the mayor.
“I am a solo practitioner and I have never gone into business with anyone,” said Stahl, who serves as the prosecutor in South River, where Silva works as the public defender. “We bought a building together but her offices, as mine, remain solo practitioners. We own a building together. Consolidation. That’s one of the key buzzwords in government and politics. We consolidated. That’s what politicians should be doing in Trenton.”
The offices are located on Route 18 in East Brunswick.
“I have clients, she has clients,” said Stahl, the assistant county counsel in Middlesex, who took on his own party to become mayor.
The mayor repeatedly cited gridlock at the national level and offered his friendship with Silva and work with a Republican council as counterweights.
“I am a Democrat. Marcia is a Republican. More importantly, we are Americans; we are New Jerseyans. … This country and state continue to have many problems that affect so many of us. … I am sick and tired of picking up a newspaper and reading how party politics stops the problem solving. … The time has come for that nonsense to end – we must have real, bipartisan solutions,” added Stahl, who described Silva as “smart, hard working, problem solving, a good listener, trustworthy, reliable and a good communicator.”
The mayor added that there is no political significance to his endorsement of Silva at Heavenly Farms, a project for which incumbent Assemblyman Pat Diegnan, (D-18), South Plainfield, helped secure funding.
“The forecast included rain, and that park included a place where people could go if it rained,” Stahl said.
He told PolitickerNJ.com that he may endorse for the state Senate and other Assembly seat as early as Tuesday.
“Right now, I want the attention to be on Marcia,” the mayor said.
Diegnan said he read the mayor’s endorsement.
“It didn’t overly excite me,” said the Democratic assemblyman. “This is a friend of his.”
The assemblyman did add that the Heavenly Farms open space preservation was “a heavy lift” for state dollars that he helped secure.