Republican leaders smacked a Democratic super PAC with ties to South Jersey Democratic powerhouse George Norcross for meddling in a Republican primary for State Senate in the hugely competitive 4th district.
The super PAC, American Representative Majority, sent a mailer to GOP primary voters bashing one of the two Senate candidates, Christopher Del Borrello, in an attempt to boost Nicholas DeSilvio’s chances of winning the Republican nomination.
“Republican primaries should be decided by Republican primary voters, not shady Democrat Super PAC’s funded with the dark money of prominent Democrat political bosses and Democrat donors,” said State Sen. Anthony Bucco, the Senate Minority Leader-elect. “Republicans across the state should condemn Democrat power-brokers for trying to influence our elections. Republicans will see this for what it is, Democrats trying to pick our general election candidates.”
The super PAC shares an address with American Democratic Majority, one of Norcross’ super PACs. The New Jersey Globe has confirmed the connection between the two groups, and the preference of DeSilvio as the GOP candidate against Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D-Washington Township).
“Changing a single word in your name won’t hide your dirty tricks,” Assembly Minority Leader John DiMaio said. “Just like last cycle, Democrats are attacking the primary election candidates they are afraid to face in the general election, and supporting the candidates they think they can beat.”
DeMaio is referring to the Republican primary for Congress in the 5th district last year, when Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) spent money to swing the nomination to Frank Pallotta. Pallotta was viewed as a weaker general election candidate than Nick De Gregorio, a U.S. Marine combat veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Republican State Chairman Bob Hugin slammed the Democrats for interfering.
“With Democrats stooping to sleazy tactics like this, it’s no wonder New Jerseyans don’t trust the system,” Hugin said. “They recognize it’s time for change, and change is on the way this November.”
A South Jersey source close to Norcross offered an explanation for the mailer.
“South Jersey Democrats didn’t try to hide its involvement because it’s a trap: Chris DelBorrello can either address these serious ethics questions and risk losing the primary, allowing Nick DeSilvio and his anti-woman agenda to face general election voters, or DelBorrello can dodge the questions and face an unrelenting assault in the fall until he does answer them. His choice,” the Norcross ally said. “The general election has already started. We should be so lucky as to run against either of these flawed candidates. What’s been in the mail so far is only the tip of DelBorrello’s unethical iceberg and South Jersey is just getting started exposing and embarrassing the GOP candidates across the region. It’s going to be a long summer.”
This story was updated on May 25 at 5:35 PM.