Home>Local>Cumberland>Fiocchi, Testa trade jabs early into primary

Former Assemblyman Samuel Fiocchi (R-Vineland)

Fiocchi, Testa trade jabs early into primary

By Nikita Biryukov, February 12 2019 5:01 pm

With filing day still more than a month away, Republican state Senate candidates Sam Fiocchi and Mike Testa are at each other’s throats.

Fiocchi threw the first stone, saying Testa, who is Cumberland County Republican chairman, was being a hypocrite when he called out State Sen. Bob Andrzejczak for voting in favor of a bill that would allow the state to tax property owners responsible for storm runoff because State Sen. Chris Brown, who has backed Testa’s bid, also voted in favor of the bill.

“While I obviously agree a ‘rain tax’ is wrong, it’s equally wrong to call someone out over it while completely ignoring the fact that a state Senator, someone Testa is proud to have an endorsement from and happens to be a headliner for his upcoming fundraiser, voted for bill S-1073,” Fiocchi, a former assemblyman, said. “Some might even call it hypocritical.”

Testa’s campaign responded in kind, leaning on Fiocchi’s electoral history.

“Electing ‘Failed Fiocchi’ would be a General Election gift to Murphy and the Democratic machine. Democrats are eagerly awaiting to easily take down Sam Fiocchi again,” Testa campaign manager Brittany O’Neill said. “In Fiocchi’s failed 2015 re-election, Democrats’ hammered Sam on his repeated tax delinquency. Nominating Mr. Fiocchi is the definition of insanity. It’s time to turn the page.”

The two candidates have something of history. Fiocchi lost the Cumberland County line in his congressional bid last year, and then he challenged Testa for the county chairmanship.

He lost that contest as well, but now Fiocchi’s attempting to turn that job into a liability for Testa.

“Testa took over as chairman of the Cumberland GOP in 2014 and the first thing he did was lose a beloved incumbent County Clerk, the late Gloria Noto. In 2015 his freeholder candidates lost by over 1,000 votes,” Fiocchi spokesman Steve Kush said. “In 2016 Testa managed to lose another incumbent, former freeholder Tom Sheppard. 2017 saw a repeat with the loss of then incumbent Carman Daddario and, not to be outdone, in 2018 Testa upped the ante by losing the freeholder race by 3,900 votes.”

Still, there’s only one clear winner in this intra-party tiff — Bob Andrzejczak.

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