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Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch). Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Some mistakes in Asbury Park Press Pallone endorsement

Editorial board makes technical errors

By David Wildstein, November 01 2018 8:13 pm

The Asbury Park Press has endorsed Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch) for re-election in New Jersey’s 6th district against Republican Richard Pezzullo.

“Pallone has been an outstanding congressman for his district, with a special focus on environmental and health issues,” the editorial board wrote. “If re-elected his priorities would include ‘reversing all the sabotage on Obamacare,’ reducing prescription drug prices, investing in infrastructure for transportation, drinking water and the electric power grid, restoring net neutrality, and eliminating the $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions.”

The Asbury Park Press and the New Jersey Globe disagree on some technical issues: how many terms Pallone has served and how many times Pezzullo has run for office.

The APP says Pallone is seeking his 16th term; the Globe believes it his 17th. The quest for certainty is a bit murky.

Pallone was elected twice in November 1988 – once in a special election for the unexpired term of Rep. James Howard (D-Spring Lake Heights), who died in March, and the other for a full two-year term.   Pallone has won 16 elections but has only served 15, since the House never held a lame duck session after the 1988 election.  Anticipating his move to Congress, Pallone resigned his State Senate seat on December 8, but was never sworn in.   He took office on January 3, 1989.

Still, the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives starts Pallone’s seniority as of November 8., 1988.  That gave Pallone a jump on anyone elected in 1988.  Today, he is #19 in seniority; he would be #24 otherwise.   Pallone’s official biography says that he was sworn in for his 15th full term on January 3, 2017.

The Asbury Park Press says Pezzullo “has run for state or federal office five times.”  The New Jersey Globe disagrees.

Pezzullo ran as an independent candidate six times: State Senate in 1993 (2.4% against John Bennett); U.S. Senate in 1994 (0.5% against Frank Lautenberg); State Assembly in 1995 (4.7% against Michael Arnone and Clare Farragher); U.S. Senate in 1996 (1.8% against Bob Torricelli); Governor in 1997 (1.4% against Christine Todd Whitman); and Congress in 1998 (3.3% against Donald Payne).

After that, Pezzullo started running as a Republican: he received 41.5% against Bennett, then the Co-Senate President, in the 2003 Republican primary; and lost the 2014 Republican U.S. Senate primary by 4,598 votes (29%-26%) against Jeff Bell.

If his brief bid for the 2018 Republican U.S. Senate nomination remains uncounted, Pezzullo’s campaign against Pallone is his ninth run for office.  It’s his first time on a general election ballot as a major party nominee. 

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