The race for control of the Roseland Democratic party has gone negative, with a mailing from former Gov. Richard Codey’s ticket launching a vicious attack on Democratic municipal chairman Julius Coltre, an ally of Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo.
The Codey slate attacks Coltre for receiving a full-time salary as the county purchasing director while also collecting his pension as a retired law enforcement official. The mailer also attacks DiVincenzo for stacking Roseland party leadership with county employees and their families – and for his endorsement of Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s 2013 re-election campaign.
DiVincenzo’s Line A slate has been running an entirely positive campaign, focusing on community events and promoting candidates for mayor and council. The ticket has done mailings featuring their support of Sen. Bob Menendez and congressional candidate Mikie Sherrill and has included endorsements from popular Sheriff Armando Fountoura. They have volunteers walking door-to-door every night in support of Line A.
One Democratic insider was critical of the personal attacks by Codey’s organization against Coltre, saying that he is just one candidate in six districts. The insider said that the negative primary campaign will hurt Roseland Democrats in November as they seek to flip an open Republican mayoral seat and two council seats – and help elect Sherrill to Congress.