Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson took the opportunity to weigh in on freeholder Will Pauls’ loss in the second district’s Assembly race Tuesday night at the Harbor Pines country club. After Pauls’ abrupt exit from the venue effectively announced the final totals, Levinson said he attributed the greater turnout for running mate Chris Brown (R-2) and rival Vince Mazzeo (D-2) to name recognition and a “gullible public” blitzed with attack ads from the Democratically-allied General Majority PAC.
“It was just too much money, and he didn’t have name recognition,” said Levinson after Brown’s victory speech. “Chris Brown is an incumbent, his name is out there. But you have to figure that, the amount of money they spent, the results came out the same as it started,” Levinson said of the PAC’s return on its nearly $3 million investment in the race.
On the substance of the PAC’s attacks, Levinson said that only an easily taken-in electorate would have opted for Mazzeo based on the group’s attacks. A release from the Mazzeo campaign and PAC-sponsored video had targeted Pauls’ opposition to funding planned parenthood and Brown’s vote against funding for family planning.
“I think it’s repulsive to talk about the fact that we don’t care about women’s health. I mean we all have mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters. I mean it’s just a very gullible public that would accept a campaign like that. And it’s just surprising that so many people did.
“I mean their message was that Republicans don’t want women to get mammograms. Whoever heard of such nonsense?”
Levinson took one last chance to revel in the solid Republican majority in Atlantic County, saying”I mean it’s a Democrat county, and we control the freeholder board 9-1.
“Pretty good,” he added.