In Burlington County, Republican freeholder candidates Bruce Garganio and Mary Ann O’Brien are singling out and underlining the backing their opponents have received from Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, calling Fulop’s involvement an “attempted takeover” of Burlington by a North Jersey power broker.
The counter-punch echoes the Monmouth GOP’s complaint about Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal leaning on Essex Democrats for cash.
“North Jersey politicians bankrolling the campaign of our opponents, in an attempted takeover of Burlington County government, would have disastrous results for county taxpayers,” Garganio complained. “Mary Ann and I have a solid record of reducing county property taxes while increasing programs and services, and we don’t want our Democrat opponents to reverse that record.
“As fate would have it, the primary source of this out-of-county threat comes from Jersey City, the same Hudson County city which, decades ago, earned a reputation as a place where dead people vote,” Garganio added.
Burlington County Democratic Chairman Joe Andl struck back today.
“This is from the campaign that took money from Sheldon Adelson in 2012,” Andl told PolitickerNJ. “Give me a break. We’re taking money from around the state. Everyone has agreed to help Burlington County and we encourage them to do so. It’s in everyone’s best interest to help us.”
Those who have signed on to assist Democrats Tom Pullion and Mike Schmidt include Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) and former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy; in other words, together with Fulop all of the 2017 candidates for governor.
Fulop took an early and aggressive interest in the county, but Andl insisted, “It’s not North Jersey, it’s South Jersey as well. We’re fighting for a victory here. Again, they can take money from billionaires and then criticize us. Sweeney is assisting us in our freeholder race. All the names are helping and we’re getting more.”
Garganio and O’Brien zeroed in on Fulop and the $50K fundraiser the mayor held in Jersey City for their Democratic rivals.
“Let’s not kid one another, this kind of assistance from outside influences will come at a cost if Pullion and Schmidt are elected,” Garganio said. “They will be tools of North Jersey political bosses, like Fulop, who helped them. Burlington County taxpayers will be the real losers.”
“Frankly, here in Burlington County, we don’t need lessons on how to run county government from a Hudson County political boss,” O’Brien added, “because every statistic you can cite makes it clear that Hudson County, and Jersey City, have horrible tax and spend records, and a political culture that is infamous for its shady dealings.”