This is probably the most boring Republican primary election season EVER in South Jersey. Because it’s so boring I’ve been watching the insurgent (“progressive”) Democrats in South Jersey, specifically Camden County. I’ve blogged about them twice, here and here.
I didn’t plan on writing about these insurgent Democrats again, but I stumbled onto this gem on social media:
The Facebook post links to a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article. It’s a good article and basically has a bunch of “he said, she said” regarding petition challenges. Reading the article, and the above snapshot of a social media post, I had to laugh when I came to this:
“In what country can you remove from the ballot your political opponents? Norcross Country,” Rena Margulis, a progressive candidate for county clerk, said in a recent interview.
Candidates get thrown off the ballot all the time in elections in New Jersey (and other states). Just last year Brian Fitzherbert was bounced from the GOP congressional primary ballot and given the facts that (a) Hirsh Singh’s campaign manager “was present for the court proceedings” to remove Fitzherbert from the ballot and (b) “filer Christopher Coleman, a Galloway Republican, said he reviewed the petitions of candidates Sam Fiocchi, Seth Grossman and Robert Turkavage,” according to New Jersey Globe I believe it had nothing to do with being in “Norcross Country.” Quite the opposite, it had everything to do with Hirsh Singh being afraid of competition.
Fitzherbert didn’t whine. He supported the eventual winner of the primary and worked hard to build the Atlantic County Young Republicans and continues to help build other YR organizations.
I can guarantee that back in 2012 when Gary Smith got thrown off the ballot in New Mexico’s GOP 1st congressional district primary that it had nothing to do with “Norcross Country.” Smith did whine, in fact, being removed from the ballot angered Smith so much he became a serial tire slasher (video at the end of this post). As I was the executive director of the Bernalillo County GOP at the time I remember this being quite a huge pain in the ass, as was replacing a couple of tires.
Having said all that maybe there might be a “Norcross Country” connection to the petition challenges filed against the GOP freeholder candidates in Gloucester County, but they aren’t whining about it and are working hard to ensure they get enough write-in votes to have their candidates on the ballot in November.
And, so I don’t sound like a hypocrite I will state again what I wrote in this blog previously:
I get it, challenging the signatures on nominating petitions is a part of political campaigns in New Jersey (and elsewhere). It’s a part of campaigns I dislike. No campaign I managed has ever challenged nominating petitions – that’s how much I despise the practice. I believe working to remove a candidate who meets the requirements to run for an office from the ballot is a gutless move that proves the person challenging signatures on a nominating petition has very little faith in their chosen candidate to win on ideas.
My intent is not to critique the Philadelphia Inquirer article nor is it to defend “Norcross Country.” Seriously, my only purpose here is to remind folks, especially challenger candidates, “There is no whining in politics!”
The Philadelphia Inquirer article is clear, there are many insurgent Democrats still on the ballot:
Most of the candidates on the progressive slate are running for a seat on the Democratic Committee, which is involved in party business and endorsements. About two dozen other candidates on the slate are running for Assembly, county clerk, and mayor or council in the county’s three biggest municipalities — Cherry Hill, Camden and Gloucester Township — and six other towns.
Rather than whining that your freeholder candidates were tossed from the ballot maybe you should get to work for all your other candidates. Be like Brian Fitzherbert or the Gloucester County Republicans and work. Don’t be a Gary Smith!