The Republican candidates in LD1, Mike Testa for state Senate and Antwan McClellan and Erik Simonsen for Assembly hit back at a mailer sent by a Democratic PAC. Their press release follows:
September 16, 2019, First Legislative District – Republicans slammed a negative attack mailer against GOP Assembly candidate and Ocean City Councilman Antwan McClellan today, alleging the shadowy Super PAC funded by allies of George Norcross darkened and distorted McClellan’s photo, placed it inside a yellow circle reminiscent of Aunt Jemima syrup branding and used racially-charged language in a desperate attempt to hang on to a district that is slipping away.
The Republicans demanded Democrat incumbents Bob Andrzejczak, Bruce Land, Matt Milam, and Cape May County Democrat Chairman Brendan Sciarra to immediately disavow the mailing, and call on the Norcross-linked General Majority PAC to cease and desist from spending in support of their candidacies.
“The Democratic party claims to be the party of inclusion; however, the moment a person of color like me disagrees with their narrative, they launch an ad hominem attack, whip out their best ‘Aunt Jemima’ photograph and purposefully darken my complexion in order to suppress dissent,” said McClellan. “This attack ad launched against me isn’t just tone deaf, it’s totally deaf to the economic struggles that faced all the people of South Jersey in the recent trying economic times. I am a Republican because we support job creation and real opportunity not just giveaway programs. I know about that struggle firsthand and promise to diligently represent South Jersey to increase economic opportunities.”
“The Cape May County GOP has worked hard to reach out to the African-American community and Antwan is without a doubt one of our brightest stars. To see him subjected to these kinds of racist attacks is extremely distressing,” said Cape GOP Chairman Marcus Karavan. “Unfortunately, these are the kinds of attacks you would expect from District 1 Democrats, who, to my recollection, have never run a woman or a person of color for the state legislature.”
“People that buy into this race-baiting narrative being advanced by the Democrats are just asking for more of the same lackluster representation and cronyism,” said Erik Simonsen. “I suggest that everyone, not just people of color, look closely into the thinking that spawned this attack ad and ask themselves if this is the representation they want.
“It’s no surprise that the very first mailer sent out by the Democrats was a negative attack. They can’t defend their party’s radical liberal agenda and the insane policies of Phil Murphy, so they turn to personal smears,” said Senate candidate Mike Testa, Jr. “But to see Antwan depicted in this way is beyond offensive. We are not going to sit by and let the Democrats hide from this one. The days of Bob Andrzejczak and running mates dutifully staying silent, while George Norcross’ shady PAC – funded by companies who got suspect tax breaks – does their dirty work, are over.”