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New Jersey National Organization for Women President Anjali Mehrotra.

Local dildo scandal may put GOP seats in play

By David Wildstein, May 17 2018 11:28 am

Mountainside (pop. 6,685) is one of the last Republican strongholds in Union County.  Donald Trump carried it with 56% and Leonard Lance with 63% in 2016.  That’s not far off from where the borough was a decade ago, when Lance won 64% and John McCain received 61%.  It’s been Republican almost forever: the GOP won borough council seats despite national Democratic wave elections, 1964 and 1974.

It’s possible that the salacious scandal being played out in a lawsuit that alleges massive harassment, racism and homophobic slurs by top officials of a 22-member local police department in a time of social media could make local elections more competitive in a way that Lyndon Johnson’s landslide or the Watergate scandal could not.  This is the kind of issue that everyone in town will be talking about.

Two Republican incumbents, Robert Messler and Wendy Fech-Caccamo, are up for re-election this fall and allegations that top local officials were aware of issues will clearly play into their re-election bids.  There is no talk yet of the local GOP pulling Messler and Fech-Caccamo off the ticket, but don’t be surprised if that happens.

Democrats have just one candidate on the June primary ballot, Anjali Mehrotra, who is already speaking up about the local issue.

“I was profoundly saddened to read allegations of sustained harassment and abuse in the Mountainside PD,” Mehrotra said.  “That our sworn officers and dedicated employees were repeatedly subjected to this is completely unacceptable.”

To nominate a second candidate, someone will need just 12 write-in votes.

Mountainside Complaint
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