CD 5 race: Cho, Bergen Dems slam Garrett’s Hurricane Sandy campaign mailer “hypocrisy”

RIDGEWOOD – Roy Cho, the Democratic candidate in the Fifth Congressional District, assailed a recently-issued campaign mailer from Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett that centered on post-Hurricane Sandy aid.

In the mailer, the Garrett campaign states that the six-term incumbent “was immediately on the ground helping families recover, while also leading the effort in Washington to ensure the federal funds we needed were available quickly.”

In a written statement on Friday, Cho pointed out that Garrett was the only New Jersey Congressional representative who did not sign a letter in November 2012 that asked House leadership to build bipartisan support for the prompt delivery of federal aid for victims of Sandy. 

Garrett is one of eleven members of Congress who voted against federal aid for victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, citing concerns about oversight. He eventually voted in favor of federal disaster aid for victims of Sandy. 

“It’s beyond incomprehensible that Scott Garrett would actually have the nerve to send political mail to constituents who were displaced from their homes in hopes they will forget he laid down on the job when they needed his help,” said Cho. “His efforts to take credit for providing Sandy relief when he had to be shamed into grudgingly helping his constituents are simply appalling.”

Cho is seeking to unseat Garrett in a district that includes most of Warren and Sussex Counties, a few Passaic municipalities, and parts of Bergen County. Two prominent Bergen Democrats spoke out in support of Cho’s claims against Garrett’s statements in the Sandy-centered campaign mailer.

“Scott Garrett’s attempt to take credit for Hurricane Sandy relief would be comical if it wasn’t so insulting to the communities he let down in the wake of the storm. When our constituents most needed help, he offered them nothing but hemming and hawing,” said State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37) in a written statement on Friday. “When Democrats and Republicans across the state were working together, he sat in his Tea Party corner unmoved. This mail piece is an insult to every displaced family and every community whose cries for help fell on his deaf ears. His hypocrisy is astonishing.”

“Throughout the storm’s aftermath…Scott Garrett was noticeably absent, just as he was for another part of the country after Katrina. For him to try to claim credit as a ‘leader’ behind even one penny of storm aid to our communities is a fanciful turn of revisionist history,” said State Sen. Bob Gordon in a written statement on Friday. “Residents of Bergen County remember the storm well, and they remember who was with them in its aftermath, and who wasn’t.”

The Garrett campaign did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment. 

CD 5 race: Cho, Bergen Dems slam Garrett’s Hurricane Sandy campaign mailer “hypocrisy”