South Jersey Democratic power broker George Norcross has started meddling in a Republican legislative primary in South Jersey, sending out mailers to attack 4th district State Senate candidate Chris Del Borrello – a clear sign that South Jersey Democrats view Del Borrello as a more formidable general election candidate than his opponent, Nick DeSilvio.
The mailers were sent by American Representative Majority, a previously unknown political action committee that the New Jersey Globe has confirmed is tied to Norcross. The PAC shares a PO Box with American Democratic Majority, an older PAC that Norcross has utilized in the past.
Because American Representative Majority is so new, it hasn’t yet had to file reports with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission. That means it’s impossible to know who its donors are or how much money is being spent on its anti-Del Borrello campaign.
The PAC’s mailers accuse Del Borrello, a former Washington Township Councilman, of being a “career politician” whose company was subject to “criminal investigations … by the FBI, IRS, and PA State Police.”
Del Borrello and his running mates, Amanda Esposito and Matt Walker, blasted DeSilvio in a statement and said that benefiting from Democratic interference is “completely unacceptable.”
“South Jersey Democrats, George Norcross, and Steve Sweeney are meddling in our Republican primary and will do everything in their power to drag down the Del Borrello, Walker & Esposito ticket and prop up the weak and flailing Nick DeSilvio ticket,” they said.
DeSilvio, who is currently in his first term as a Gloucester County Commissioner, did not address the matter at hand when asked for comment.
“We’ve been wondering why Chris Del Borrello hates cops,” he said. “Maybe it’s because he’s so closely affiliated with criminals. Crooks hate cops.”
The bitter primary between DeSilvio and Del Borrello is one that has divided South Jersey Republicans. Gloucester Republicans, who will probably make up the largest share of the primary vote, are backing DeSilvio, but Del Borrello has the organizational line in the 4th district’s other two counties, Atlantic and Camden.
Both men have a substantial trove of opposition research Democrats could use in what is likely to be a highly competitive general election: a defunct company tied to Del Borrello’s family has a checkered past, while DeSilvio’s offensive social media posts have already featured in one election cycle and could return for another.
But the American Representative Majority mailer shows that, when given the ability to choose, Democrats would rather run against DeSilvio.
This isn’t the first time that New Jersey Democrats have spent money to boost their preferred general election opponent. Last year, U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) sent mailers to 5th district Republicans accusing Republican candidate Frank Pallotta of being “too much like Trump”; Pallotta ended up narrowly winning his primary narrowly against a more moderate opponent before losing to Gottheimer by 10 points in the general election.