South Jersey Voters Said: Big Campaign Cash Didn’t Matter
A HARRY HURLEY OPINION - EDITORIAL
A recap of Decision 2021.
The big takeaway … Finally, the big money didn’t matter. For the past two decades, millions of dollars have arrived from mostly Camden County to prop-up Democrat candidates in New Jersey Districts 1, 2 and 3.
The formula had been very successful. Destroy the Republican opponents. Say and do anything. The ends justify the means.
Republicans were routinely called “murderers,” “taxpayer rip-off artists.” There was no lie they weren’t willing to tell with market saturation level dollars.
Voters were very focused during the 2021 elections in South Jersey. The customary millions of dollars were spent against Republican Senator Vince Polistina and his running mates, New Jersey Assembly Members-elect Claire Swift and Don Guardian.
They were smeared on a daily basis with almost $ 7 million dollars spent against them. Polistina raised and spent about $ 1.2 million.
Yet, despite being outspent nearly 7 to 1, Polistina, Swift and Guardian routed Vince Mazzeo, John Armato and Caren Fitzpatrick on Tuesday, November 2, 2021.
District 2 was the second highest amount of spending in the 2021, election cycle in New Jersey and the 5th most expensive in state history.
District 8 candidates spent a whopping (nearly) $ 9 million dollars.
You can run a successful United States Senate Campaign with the amounts spent in Districts 2 and 8 in New Jersey.
This time, voters completely tuned out the vicious television, radio, digital and old fashion snail mail brochures that the Democrats peppered the region at uber market saturation levels.
This shock and awe had worked nearly every time it was employed. It became almost “cookie cutter” like.
This time, the voters weren’t having any of it!
Hopefully, this will cause the Camden County financial, political potentates to see that South Jersey is no longer for sale.
I fully accept that campaign cash has been codified as free speech by the United States Supreme Court. As it should be.
However, the disproportionate amount of spending by the Democrats in South Jersey had resulted in very poor state level representation in Atlantic County.
South Jersey actually had elected representatives who were voting and working against their best interest. And, yet they kept returning them and other bots like them to office again and again.
We interviewed Senator Polistina for this article, who said;
“The money they spent against us for legislative seats in Atlantic County is obscene. That money could have been used for so many things which could have helped people in challenging times rather than being wasted on their ridiculous negative campaign,” said Polistina.
South Jersey voters consciously voted-out Democrats. It didn’t matter who you were.
The second most powerful elected official in the state, New Jersey State Senate President Steve Sweeney was defeated by a political neophyte Edward Durr in New Jersey’s 3rd Legislative District.
This was perhaps the biggest electoral upset in New Jersey history. If Sweeney can go down like this, the voters have demonstrated that they are now poised to send anyone packing,
In the 8th District, it was more of the same. Incumbent New Jersey State Assemblywoman Jean Stanfield, R-Burlington, Camden, Atlantic, defeated incumbent State Sen. Dawn Addiego, D-Burlington, Camden, Atlantic.
Addiego switched political parties from Republican to Democrat. A total miscalculation on her part.
Republicans also won both 8th District Assembly sears with candidates (Hammonton Councilman) Mike Torrissi and Brandon Umba.
In District 1, it was also a Republican wipeout, with Senator Michael Testa and Assemblymen Erik Simonsen and Antwan McClellan winning by a moonshot margin.
Testa is a great architect of successful campaigns. He deserves a lot of credit for flipping the 1st district two years ago.
Testa created a wave of inevitability for others to follow in his wave.
This is the first time in 40-plus years that Republicans hold all Senate and Assembly positions in Districts 1, 2 and 3.
It would be easy to just write this off as a Republican wave election and make it appear as if it is some kind of electoral political temper tantrum.
However, it’s much more then that. Voters have become disgusted with government at all levels.
Voters are sick and tired of being sick and tired. The electorate sent a message that they are prepared to send anyone packing.
Because of the every 10-year census, the entire New Jersey Legislature is on a very short, 2-year leash.
The 2023 election cycle will be here before you know it. Voters will be coming off of what I’m certain will be another change election in the 2022 national mid-term elections.
Republicans had a net one seat gain in the state senate. This reduces the Democratic majority to 24 to 16.
In the lower house, Republicans added six state Assembly seats, which will leave the Democrats with a 46 to 34 advantage beginning in January, 2022.
The elected officials who demonstrate to the voting public that they have the peoples best interest in mind, will be successful.
Those who have not learned their lesson, will be very vulnerable in 2023.
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