Mountainside Council candidates Anjali Mehrotra and Ileana Montes didn’t wait long to start hitting opposing candidate Rachel Pater, whose candidacy was announced yesterday.
“We welcome Ms. Pater to the race,” said Dani Faibes, the challengers’ campaign manager, “However, we want to remind her that there is an election in November where Mountainside voters will decide who represents Mountainside on Council not Party insiders who just want another go-along get-along member. We have elections for a reason, and the residents will decide who best represents their values.”
Pater, a Mountainside Republican municipal committeewoman, is replacing councilwoman Wendy Fech-Caccamo, who backed out of the race last week for unspecified health reasons.
In her announcement, Pater said she “is honored to represent Mountainside on Council.”
Her candidacy might disrupt the challengers’ strategy, which thus far has largely focused on hitting incumbents over the council’s handling of harassment allegations within the town’s police department.
Pater’s lack of involvement in those incidents makes those attacks more difficult, or, at the very least, it will make those attacks less effective for half of the ticket.
Sitting councilman Bob Messler is likely to suffer when his challengers resume attacks over that line, but given that half of the Republican ticket wasn’t in office during the incidents, the attacks may drop in frequency.