A top rating from a group funded by the Koch Brothers may become a campaign issue in the 25th district Assembly race.
Five-term incumbent Anthony M. Bucco (R-Boonton) received the highest score in the State Assembly from Americans for Prosperity – New Jersey, the state arm of the conservative political advocacy group founded by David and Charles Koch.
One of Bucco’s Democratic opponents, Lisa Bhimani, says Bucco’s 95.83% score shows “he is a rubber stamp for policies harmful to Morris County.
“As AFP opposes investment in our infrastructure and public transportation, in addition to investment in the tech economy, along with policies to take on climate change, they have banked on a reliable obstructionist in Bucco to do their bidding more than 95% of the time,” Bhimani said.
Bucco was the only Morris County Assembly delegation to receive an A grade from Americans for Prosperity.
The assemblyman pivoted into his own offensive.
“Only in New Jersey can you be attacked for standing up for lower taxes and smaller government, and working across the aisle on bipartisan legislation,” Bucco said. “Bhimani would be another rubber-stamp vote for Governor Murphy’s higher taxes and progressive policies that make New Jersey less affordable for families and seniors.“
Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris Plains) and Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains) received a B, Betty Lou DeCroce (R-Parsippany) was graded a C, Kevin Rooney (R-Wyckoff) got a D, and Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield ), Nancy Munoz (R-Summit) and Christopher DePhillips (R-Wyckoff) received failing grades.
“We need a new direction, where we invest in our infrastructure, incentivize tech job growth, and build the clean energy economy to take advantage of renewables like solar and wind energy,” said Bhimani. “The AFP rankings underscore how Assemblyman Bucco has badly failed us.”
Republicans have held the two 25th district Assembly seats since 1979, but the district produced close results two years ago. Bhimani won 48% against State Sen. Anthony R. Bucco (R-Boonton) and is now running against his son.
Hillary Clinton won the 25th, albeit by just 18 votes, and Democratic congressional candidates combined for a 9,479-vote win on November 6.
There are 8,714 more Republicans in the 25th than Democrats. When the last legislative map was drawn in 2011, the GOP registration edge was almost double: 16,367.
Bhimani is running with Darcy Draeger, the Chester Democratic municipal chairman.
Carroll is leaving the Assembly after 25 years to run for Morris County Surrogate.
David Koch stepped down from AFP in 2018, with Charles Koch remaining.