The controversy over Republican primary endorsements in the race for Morris County freeholder continues, with challenger Donald Dinsmore disputing claims by the incumbent slate that claimed support he did not have.
Dinsmore had released a list of endorsements that included Florham Park councilman Charles Germershausen and former Morris Township deputy mayor Matheu Nunn. That was followed by a press release from incumbents Doug Cabana, Tom Mastrangelo and Kathy DeFilippo claiming that Germershausen and Nunn backed them.
“I’m good friends with all of them, but only Dinsmore and Mastrangelo came up to me and asked me,” Germershausen told the New Jersey Globe. “Cabana is a very good friend of mine. To this day he hasn’t called and asked me.”
Germershausen says he supports Dinsmore, Mastrangelo and Cabana in the June GOP primary.
“I felt Kathy wasn’t going to run again,” Germershausen said. “A lot of times (last year) I called her, and she never returned my calls. I truly believed she wasn’t going to run again.”
Nunn texted his endorsement Dinsmore on December 8 and authorized his name to be used in a press release.
“You have my support,” Nunn wrote.”
“Matt, thanks so much,” Dinsmore replied. “May I use you in my next release?”
“Of course,” Nunn said. “Let me know when you do some fundraising stuff.”
Nunn confirmed that the text message was his, but that he is supporting the incumbents.
“This past weekend, I spoke to Freeholder Mastrangelo about my endorsement. Like Florham Park Councilman Charles Germershausen, I did not believe Freeholder DeFilippo would be running again,” Nunn said. “That is, I intended on supporting Freeholders Cabana and Mastrangelo and Mr. Dinsmore.”
“Freeholder Mastrangelo advised that Freeholder DeFilippo would, in fact, be running; in turn, I advised that her candidacy would likely change my endorsement – because I believe their respective campaign funds would be better spent in a general election,” said Nunn. “Of course, since I committed to Mr. Dinsmore, I would have liked the opportunity to speak to him before the publication of any releases or stories. I have not yet had the opportunity to have that conversation with him.”
Washington Township councilman Gregg Forsbrey told the New Jersey Globe over the weekend that while his name appeared in an endorsement for all three incumbents, he was backing just Mastrangelo and Cabana, along with Dinsmore.
On Monday, former Republican Lt. Governor candidate Carlos Rendo rescinded his endorsement of Dinsmore, saying he was under the impression that the race was for an open seat. Rendo is backing all three incumbents.
Dinsmore said that Rendo knew that the three incumbents were running for re-election when he committed to a public endorsement last week.
“It strikes me as machine politics,” Dinsmore said. “People are being pressured.”
Boonton Republican Club president Marie Fragomeni alleged that Dinsmore asked her to sign his petition but didn’t say that her signature constituted an endorsement.
“That was not fair and not honest,” said Fragomeni, who is backing the three incumbents.
This story was updated at 4:02 PM to include comment from Nunn.