Blue collar tavern owner Terry Duffy of West Milford knows what Democrats are thinking.
They’re waiting for the big man – who just formally announced his 5th Congressional District candidacy on Saturday – to get sacked by NFL legend (and fellow Democrat) Harry Carson, who’s expected to tear into the same contest in a matter of days.
Duffy isn’t beyond stepping out of Carson’s way, and it’s not because Carson once infamously ended the career of quarterback Joe Theismann.
“The ultimate goal is beating (incumbent U.S. Rep.) Scott Garrett, and whether it’s Harry Carson or Johnny Carson, my goal is to see the best equipped Democrat go up against him,” Duffy told PolitickerNJ.com.
A Passaic County Freeholder who convincingly won a 2010 re-election bid running on a ticket with U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9), Duffy said he thinks he would need $400,000 for the first leg of the campaign and $1 million overall to beat Garrett.
But again, he acknowledges primary negotiations first, which are likely to include Carson and the already declared Teaneck Deputy Mayor Adam Gussen.
“I’ve conferred with clergy and local politicians and I’m ready to do this,” said Duffy. “We’ll see how it goes. Scott Garrett is a tough opponent. It won’t be an easy race but it’s a winnable race.”
Duffy said that while parts of four counties comprise the 5th District, Bergen as usual is the key.
That’s fine with the Passaic County resident. He grew up in Ridgewood and went to school in Ramsey.
“I bring a different perspective,” said Duffy. “I’m a moderate Democrat. Given the opportunity, why wouldn’t I move forward? I don’t think Scott Garrett represents the working man out there. You can’t spend more than you take in, of course. But my moderate, balanced approach includes working very well with the Republicans who are on the freeholder board. My philosophy is we are all in this together: Democrats, Republicans and Tea Partiers.
“I think Scott Garrett is more special interest than a down to earth kind of guy,” added the freeholder.