Isabella Alfano is facing sharp criticism for alleging that her opponent in the Republican primary for Morris County Surrogate advanced her political career through a romantic relationship with a former GOP officeholder.
Alfano faces Freeholder Heather Darling and Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris Township) in the race for surrogate. Both are attorneys.
In a Facebook post, Alfano acknowledged launching a derogatory, personal attack against Darling at a candidates’ night in Morris Plains last week.
“At no point did I criticize her appearance, what I said is that she has advanced her career by engaging in sexual activities to get ahead. This is true,” said Alfano.
Her statements prompted officials from both parties to repudiate Alfano, a first-time candidate with close ties to the Parsippany Republicans.
“I think what she said was atrocious,” said Denville councilman Brian Bergen, who is seeking Carroll’s open State Assembly seat. “It’s not consistent with good values. I do not support or condone the behavior in any way the comments of Isabel Alfano.”
Bergen said that he supports Darling.
Micah Rasmussen, the director of the Rebovich Institute for New Jersey Politics at Rider University, predicted that Alfano’s comments might backfire on her before the June 4 primary election.
“It says something about Alfano that she believes this is how women get ahead in politics, but it says even more that she believes this is what will move voters in Morris County,” Rasmussen told the New Jersey Globe.
Rasmussen said that “advancing in New Jersey politics is decidedly different than Alfano’s characterization.”
“Women were first elected to our State Legislature in 1921, and our first female mayor was elected in 1925– the same year a New Jersey woman first entered Congress. Women have served as speaker of our General Assembly and as Chief Justice of our Supreme Court, and we elected Christine Todd Whitman to serve as our governor 26 years ago,” said Rasmussen.
Alfano pushed back on comments made by the Morris County Women’s Democratic Caucus.
In her Facebook post, Alfano alleged that Darling “is the Kamala Harris of Morris County” – an odd reference to one of two women of color seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.
“The Democrats defending Heather only clarifies that she would be the best case scenarios for a win for them in November as she is unelectable,” said Alfano. “I’m proud that the Democrats won’t defend me, I’d prefer support from folks like Mark Levin, Rush, Diamond and Silk, Steven Crowder, Dan Bongino their values and character are more my speed.”