In Monmouth County’s 11th district, where Republicans are seeking to take back two State Assembly seats they lost in 2015, GOP candidate Michael Amoroso was off the campaign trail for two weeks while he vacations in Europe.
What’s making things worse for the Freehold Township Board of Education President is that while he was Europe, negotiations with the local teachers union have failed.
“After months of negotiations with the Freehold Township Education Association, both sides have been unable to mutually agree to a settlement package,” the school board said in a statement. Therefore, impasse has been declared and a mediator will be assigned to facilitate further negotiations between the two groups.”
Amoroso has been chronicling his vacation on Facebook since July 3, when he boarded a flight to Paris from John F. Kennedy International airport.
“Riding the A380 big bird today,” Amoroso.
He arrived in Naples on July 7 and visited several cities in Italy before heading to Barcelona on July 12. Amoroso returned to Italy two days later for a visit to Portofino on the Italian Riviera. He arrived in Germany on July 12. He returned to New Jersey on July 16.
Republicans are down to 26 seats in the New Jersey State Assembly, the lowest number since the 1970s, with relatively few opportunities to make gains with a map that has them playing a lot more defense than offense.
Micah Rasmussen, the director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University, told the New Jersey Globe earlier this month that extended vacation time during a campaign could be costly.
“The most finite campaign resource is a candidate’s time. You can always raise more money, but you can’t add those two more weeks you needed to finish ahead,” Rasmussen said. “Every day is several dozen more voters a candidate can meet or contributions you can ask for.”
Amoroso said that he purchased tickets for his vacation — a family celebration of his 50th birthday — one year ago. He said that the mediation date for the Freehold teacher contract was originally set for July 24.
“I’m consciously choosing my family time and the voters should know that,” Amoroso said.
This story was updated at 4:20 PM on July 30 with comment from Amoroso.