Standing together outside Linden City Hall, Mayor Richard Gerbounka of Linden, four Linden Councilmen and one Rahway Councilman today endorsed Donald Payne Jr for Congress in the 10th District.
“I am an independent. When I endorse, I endorse the best person for the position. I am an endorsing today a man who has been in the trenches, fighting for his city. He knows the issues of municipalities. He understands jobs and relocating industries. He is a man who will use his experience to fight for Linden, ” Gerbounka said. “That is why I am asking everyone in Linden to vote for Donald Payne Jr. to be the next Congressman from the 10th district.”
Joining Mayor Gerbounka were Council President James Moore, Councilmen Derek Armstead, Bob Frasier, and Jack Sheehy, all of Linden, as well as Councilman David Brown of Rahway.
“You know you will get a fighter with me. We are going to fight for jobs for Linden and for the rest of the 10th district. We are going to fight on to victory, said Payne.
Union County Freeholder Chris Hudak, chairman of the Linden Democratic Committee, denoucned the endorsement as meaningless – even harmful to Payne – in a Democratic Primary.
“Usually when a Democratic candidate rolls out an endorsement in a primary, the goal is to boost the candidate’s Democratic bona fides,” Hudak said. “Mayor Gerbounka’s endorsement of Councilman Payne is a somewhat dubious distinction.
“The Mayor is a self described Independent who has regularly endorsed independents and Republicans against Democratic candidates. His support of Governor Christie’s agenda has been well documented, yet the relationship has born no fruit for Linden taxpayers.
“Under his watch, our municipal taxes have skyrocketed, development has stalled and services to working families have been cut. The many vacant storefronts on Wood Avenue and diminishing ratable base are a testament to his legacy. On the other hand, it is ironic that this announcement comes nearly 4 years to the date the Mayor and the same group of Council members posed in front of the cameras to endorse another candidate. On that day, Gerbounka and his team announced their support John McCain over President Obama, rebuking the progressive ideas espoused by a President who has saved the US auto industry, ended ‘don’t ask don’t tell,’ and made health care reform a reality. In the age of Google, it’s remarkable that the Mayor thinks the memories of Linden Democratic voters are so short. “