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Stuart Meissner, the former prosecutor considering a run for U.S. Senate against Cory Booker next year, contributed $16 to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
That was the year he became a Republican.
One a Democratic activist, Meissner is now all-in as an unabashed Trump supporter running in a state where the president’s approval ratings are at an upside-down 30%-59%.
Back in the early 1980s, Meissner was an active Democrat. He served as president of the 39th Assembly District’s Thomas Jefferson Young Democrats Club. Three years later, he became the chairman of the Kings County Young Democrats.
As a young Democrat, Meissner criticized the Reagan administration for “the shedding of American blood for the sake of (U.S. Secretary of Defense Casper) Weinberger’s policies” after Marines were killed in Beirut in 1983.
Voter record show that Meissner registered as a Democrat in 2008 and voted in the March presidential primary that year. He did not vote in any other Democratic primary.
“I grew up as a Democrat in Brooklyn but left partisan politics aside when I became a prosecutor fighting against Wall Street abuse, organized crime and violent predators,” Meissner said. “In recent years, I’ve felt as though the modern Democratic Party has left many of us behind.”
That led Meissner, who worked for New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, to switch parties.”
“I was an early supporter and volunteer for Donald Trump’s campaign, volunteering weekly at Trump Tower, and am committed Republican today,” the Tenafly attorney said. “It’s time that someone stands-up and fights back against the far-left politics of Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.”
Meissner is now making his second bid for public office.
In 2013, Meissner launched an independent bid for the United States Senate in a special election for the seat of the late Frank Lautenberg. He finished fifth out of eight candidates with 2,051 votes statewide (0.15%), losing to Booker by 738,691 votes.
He reported no fundraising or expenditures for that race, which focused on alimony reform.
That year, he tweeted his congratulations to “my old buddy Bill de Blasio” for becoming the new Mayor of New York City. Another tweet, calling de Blasio a “boyhood friend” no longer exists, but does show up on an archive.
Later, Meissner appears to have distanced himself from de Blasio, tweeting a New York Times story in 2015 that said the mayor had lost support of white New Yorkers.
He contributed $350 to de Blasio in 2013, and $200 New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer.
Meissner announced the formation of an exploratory committee to seek the Democratic nomination for Congress against Rep. Scott Garrett (R-Wantage) in 2014, but did not run. Meissner made his announcement on Twitter after then-State Sen. Bob Gordon (D-Fair Lawn) said he would not run. That tweet no longer appears in his feed.
During his independent Senate bid, Meissner criticized Booker’s relationship with Gov. Chris Christie and criticized Christie for calling an October special election rather than run the race in November.
“The close personal friendship between Cory Booker and Governor Christie is well known,” Meissner said on his campaign website. “The sudden announcement that anyone who wished to run as a Democrat or as a Republican for the US Senate seat vacated by Senator Lautenberg’s death had to gather thousands of signatures in a matter of six days, almost guaranteeing that only professional politicians would be able to be on the ballot, is of no surprise.”
He also said the timing of the election was no surprise.
“The game plan goes like this: Most Republicans will not be coming out for the Special Election just weeks before the general election as the popular Republican Governor will not be on the ballot. Similarly, most Democrats will not bother voting in the General Election as the popular Mayor of Newark will not be on the ballot to draw Democrats,” Meissner said. “Obviously, such set-up creates the perfect election game plan for both the Governor and Mr. Booker. However, such political manipulation is not what New Jersey voters deserve.”
Meissner contributed $1,000 to Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign against George W. Bush, and then contributed to two Republican U.S. Senate candidates and three four GOP House nominees in 2016 and 2018. He also contributed to Assemblyman Bob Auth (R-Old Tappan) in 2016, 2017 and 2019.