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Bob Quinn, left, with former Rep. Leonard Lance

Quinn attacks Somerset GOP following primary loss

Former freeholder candidate jabs Parenti, Gaburo

By Nikita Biryukov, September 06 2019 10:03 am

Robert Quinn turned on his own party following an off-the-line primary loss against Somerset County Freeholder Pat Walsh.

“There is an element of this party that does not want minorities and the evidence is the lack of elected officials and appointments,” Quinn said. “My suggestion to the party is keep on emulating 20th century republicans and being exclusive. It’s obviously working in NJ, right? Or do we have to work with people that are different than us in the real world?”

Quinn, who unsuccessfully attempted to oust Assemblymen Joseph Egan and Joe Danielsen in 2017, lost to Walsh by about 24 points, earning 5,132 votes to Walsh’s 8,431.

Now, the former candidate is taking aim at the county’s Republican sheriff candidate.

“Republicans selected a candidate for Somerset sheriff that has two bad habits: (a) not locking his car door and (b) leaving his service weapon in his car (hence the delay in reporting and made up story about house being broken into),” Quinn said in an email that contained a link to a story about a burglary targeting North Plainfield Police Chief Bill Parenti.

Parenti’s gun, badge and uniform were stolen during the burglary, according to an NJ 101.5 story.

Somerset County Republican Chairman Al Gaburro dismissed Quinn as a non-entity.

“Robert Quinn is a moron who puts his own twisted self interest above the party,” Gaburro said.  “He’s never been part of the organization and has sought to find relevance by criticizing others who work every day to advance the Republican Party in Somerset County.

Quinn ran on a line with Tim Pino, a former captain of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department. Pino narrowly lost to Parenti, the county-backed sheriff candidate, in the primary.

It’s not the first time Quinn has butted heads with county Republicans.

Earlier this year, SGaburo attacked Quinn over his challenge to Walsh, a longtime Somerset County Freeholder facing what may well be her first competitive race in years following demographic shifts in the county.

“Robert Quinn has never been part of the county organization and in fact has run against Republicans for years,” Gaburo said in March. “He has never worked to raise money nor help Republican candidates anywhere. The fact that he is running against Freeholder Walsh whom he has called in the past a ‘great candidate’ tells Republican voters all they need to know.”

Quinn maintains he is a proud Republican, though it’s unlikely that his turning on the party’s general election candidates will win him any points among the Somerset GOP.

Though, that doesn’t seem to concern him much.

“I would suggest to the Republican party to stop contacting me. I’m a proud Republican, but you don’t deserve me and I have better uses for my time and money,” Quinn said in the email, which identified him as a “kamikaze candidate.”

This story was updated at 10:48 AM with comment from Gaburro.

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