LINDEN – It’s tough to get traction in Union as a countywide Republican.
He knows it. Admits it.
But Michael Ince told PolitickerNJ he’s running anyway, and on the street here in downtown Linden at the annual fair, he worked it hard.
“The idea is to put a professional in the position, not a politician,” said Ince, who’s running for sheriff against Assemblyman Joe Cryan (D-20), a Democrat undersheriff looking to fill the job left vacant by the death this summer of Ralph Froehlich.
The son of the late former Essex County Sheriff John Cryan, Assemblyman Cryan’s a heavy favorite for the job.
“I was born and raised in Union County,” countered Ince, a 24-year special agent veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and former Clark Police officer.
“I know his campaign is well connected politically, but he doesn’t know anything about law enforcement,” Ince added of his Democratic opponent. “I just want professionalism in this job.”
When Cryan first circulated as a candidate to replace the late Mr. Froehlich, there was some establishment back-chatter about the possibility of the GOP getting behind someone who could cause headaches for Cryan, a former Democratic State Party chair and vocal opponent of Gov. Chris Christie’s pen/ben overhauls.
That chatter died.
But when establishment Democrats saw Ince emerge out of nowhere with a seemingly glowing resume, a gentle murmur of concern went up in the vicinity of Union County Democratic HQ.
No, the numbers don’t give Republicans much of a chance here, but just in case, Union County Democratic Committee Chairman Jerry Green, an assemblyman from the 22nd District, told the GOP something to the effect that if they wanted to take the gloves off they could go that way.
To date, sources close to Ince say the Republican Party hasn’t supplied significant help to the candidate.
But at the well-attended fair today he put his head down anyway and dove into a crowd of hands.