A former GOP candidate for Lt. Governor says he was tricked into endorsing Donald Dinsmore for Morris County Freeholder and is now supporting the three incumbents — Doug Cabana, Tom Mastrangelo and Kathy DeFilippo — seeking re-election in the June primary.
“Dinsmore called me and asked if I would endorse him. He told me he was running for an open Freeholder seat in Morris County,” said Carlos Rendo, the mayor of Woodcliff Lake and Kim Guadagno’s running mate in the 2017 gubernatorial election. “However, after finding out this was not the truth and knowing this is a primary against a very strong incumbent team I decided to withdraw my endorsement and stand with Doug, Tom and Kathy for Republican party unity and to continue delivering for the tax payers of Morris County and New Jersey. The last thing the Republican party needs is a primary in Morris County especially after losing two congressional seats and a number of local republican seats to democrats over the last few years.”
Four other Republican officials listed on a Dinsmore endorsement press release — Boonton Republican Club president Marie Fragomeni, Randolph councilman Lance Tkacs, former Morris Township deputy mayor Matt Nunn, and Florham Park councilman Charles Germershausen– also accused Dinsmore of not being truthful about their endorsements.
All are backing Cabana, Mastrangelo and DeFilippo.
“Don Dinsmore asked me to sign his petition but did not tell me he was using my signature as an endorsement . That was not fair and not honest,” Fragomeni said. “Doug Cabana, Tom Mastrangelo and Kathy DeFillipo are running for Freeholder as a team in 2019 and I wholeheartedly support them for Freeholder and will work for them to insure they get elected. Morris County is a great county and it is because of their hard work. After last year’s performance by republicans, Morris County does not need a primary this year especially against three fine public servants.”
Tkacs said that he was under the impression that Dinsmore was running for an open seat.
“When I found out that was not an accurate and Doug, Tom and Kathy were running for re-election, I quickly endorsed them and withdrew my support of Don,” Tkacs said. “Doug Tom and Kathy have been a solid team for Morris County.”
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.”
This story was updated at 3:59 PM with comment from Dinsmore.