Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (R-Holmdel) has waded into the neighboring 11th district Assembly race, recording a robocall attacking two Democratic colleagues, Joann Downey (D-Freehold Township) and Eric Houghtaling (D-Neptune Township).
“Houghtaling and Downey run along to get along, says DiMaso, in a call paid for by the Assembly Republican Victory Caucus that urges voters to contact Downey and Houghtaling – and ultimately defeat them next year. “Tell those Murphy Democrats to stop reaching into our pockets. Don’t send them back to Trenton.”
DiMaso call suggests that Downey and Houghtaling voted for tax increases but voting records from last Sunday’s session show that both voted against revenue raisers like the millionaire’s tax and the corporate business tax.
The calls were reportedly made on today — not exactly a time when voters are paying close attention to next year’s Assembly races. And DiMaso, a former Monmouth County freeholder who was elected to the Assembly last November, might be not have universal name recognition in the 11th district.
Downey and Houghtaling were elected in 2015, narrowly ousting two GOP incumbents. They were re-elected last year by nearly 6,000 votes. Republicans view Downey and Houghtaling among their top Democratic targets in 2019.
Assembly Democrats responded on Wednesday morning with a slap at DiMaso.
“Assemblywoman DiMaso talks a big game on holding the line against taxes and spending despite being caught red handed for improperly taking taxpayer funded benefits in Monmouth County that were already banned for elected officials,” said Mike Muller, a spokesman for the Assembly Democratic campaign committee.
A call placed at 8:21 PM to the Monmouth County Republican headquarters at the number listed at the end of DiMaso’s message was not immediately returned.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was updated to include comment from Assembly Democrats.