Vince Polistina says he’s been locked out of his legislative office, but Democrats maintain that he hasn’t been sworn in the Atlantic County-based State Senate seat and has no legal authority to access he office.
Polistina won an August special election convention to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of State Sen. Chris Brown (R-Ventnor), who resigned in July to take a job in the Murphy administration. But the Senate, on a recess until after Election Day, has not yet sworn in Polistina.
Now, Polistina is blaming his opponent, Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Northfield), for preventing the Democratic-controlled Senate from allowing him to take office.
“Mazzeo succeeded in getting his party bosses to dismantle and lock me out of former Senator Brown’s district office,” Polistina said in a letter mailed to elected officials. “Despite everyone knowing that I am the Senator for the 2nd legislative district, I no longer have the ability to answer the main office number in the Senator’s district office for people who need help in the County.”
Polistina had a retired Superior Court Judge swear him in and maintains that he’s now a senator. The non-partisan New Jersey Office of Legislative Affairs disagrees.
“Mazzeo has chosen petty partisan politics over the needs of his constituents,” Polistina wrote. “I have confirmed that a simple phone call from his party bosses would rectify this situation, but it appears that the four-month vacation Assemblyman Mazzeo enjoys while the legislature is ‘adjourned’ is more important than standing up for the residents of Atlantic County.”