The decision of a defeated Democratic official in Dover to hire a prominent Republican lawyer to overturn the results of the primary election exposes the relationship between the GOP and the political organization of Mayor Jim Dodd, Morris County Democratic Chairman Chip Robinson says.
Alderman Ronald Camacho, a Dodd ally, lost the June 5 primary to Carlos Valencia. Valencia was endorsed by Robinson as part of a Dover First slate that took out two incumbent aldermen and took control of the local Democratic organization away from Dodd.
Robinson says that the Dodd team are “Republicans masquerading as Democrats.” Dodd endorsed Chris Christie for re-election as governor in 2013, and Democrats say he has an alliance with State Sen. Anthony R. Bucco (R-Boonton) and his son, Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco (Boonton).
After a recount expanded Valencia’s margin from six to twelve votes, Camacho has hired Alan Zakin, a Republican consultant and election law attorney, in a bid to invalidate the election results.
“The Dodd Team has unmasked themselves for the Republicans they really are,” said Robinson, noting that Zakin has served as executive director of the Morris Republican Victory PAC and has represented Republican candidates against Democrats in recounts in recent years.
Robinson says he wasn’t surprised by Camacho’s loss in the Democratic primary, since he has run as a Republican in the past and has “never lifted a finger to help fellow Democratic candidates on the ballot.”
Camacho alleges that some vote-by-mail ballots were cast by individuals who don’t live in the 4th ward, and that some mail-in ballots and provisional ballots were illegally influenced.
“What is most bothersome, however, is the voter suppression tactics the Dodd Team is attempting to use to overturn the 4th Ward election results. Their claims of voters casting ballots illegally come straight from the Donald Trump Republican playbook,” said Robinson. “The voters of Dover should have no fear, particularly from their municipal government, about going to the polls on Election Day.”
Zakin did not immediately respond to a 1:08 PM telephone call seeking comment.