Veteran political writer Charles Stile has predicted a possible Republican takeover in the New Jersey legislature in the 2023 general election.
Stile, who writes for the Record and NorthJersey.com, cited a number of factors for his prediction, including a strong Republican turnout in the 2021 election, the unpopularity of President Joe Biden, and the latest criminal indictment of Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez.
New Jersey Republicans are certainly running against Gov. Phil Murphy’s agenda, which includes forcing largely unpopular transgender issues into classrooms occupied by young children and going to court to defend some of America’s worst school racial segregation.
Republicans are also targeting several key legislative races in South Jersey, where they believe they have a good chance of flipping seats where Democrats have been caught using dark money political committees to unfairly target South Jersey legislative races.
Two such committees, Brighter Future Forward and Jersey Freedom, have not filed campaign finance reports, but they have spent large sums of money slamming GOP contenders using false and malicious arguments but is not clear that the dirty tricks can overcome the reality of high inflation, President Joe Biden’s low popularity, and the close association of Democratic candidates who had supported the corrupt US Senator after the first time he was indicted.
In one case, the bogus Democratic front groups sent out attack mailers telling Republicans to vote for Libertarian candidate Shawn Peck instead of the GOP incumbent, Vince Polistina. Peck has since dropped out of the race and endorsed Polistina.
Brighter Future Forward accuses State Sen. Vincent Polistina (R-Egg Harbor Township), GOP State Senate candidate Christopher Del Borrello, and Assemblymen Michael Torrissi, Jr. (R-Hammonton) and Brandon Umba (R-Medford) of standing by while Durr “spews hate.”
Alexis Degan, a Democratic operative who previously served as chief of staff to the 5th district legislative delegation, filed the new group as a non-profit in June.
In the 4th district Senate race, Republicans are also targeting Democratic incumbent Paul Moriarty. However, Democrats are trying to drive Republicans away from the GOP nominee, Christopher Del Borrello, by using a phantom candidate, Giuseppe Costanzo.
Bogus front groups linked to South Jersey Democrats have been sending out attack mailers against Del Borrello, making false accusations about his family members.
Unsavory dirty tricks have also been used in other legislative races. In the 16th District, Sen. Andrew Zwicker has been accused of using a fake social media account to spread negative information about his Republican opponent. And in the 11th District, Sen. Vin Gopal has been accused of using a dark money group to attack his Republican opponent.
The 2023 general election is shaping up to be a highly competitive one in New Jersey. If Republicans are able to win control of either or both houses of the legislature, it would have a significant impact on the agenda of Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, who is said to be planning to put his wife in the US Senate to replace Menendez.
Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin proposed his own property tax relief plan, a talking point that got somewhat muddled by a compromise with Murphy, whose administration criticized the original plan as fiscally unsound.
On energy, some lawmakers have been backing away from Murphy, who supported controversial offshore wind projects in areas where dead whales and other marine mammals have been washing up on shore. Utility companies have accused Murphy of plotting to take away gas stoves, cars with internal combustion engines, and
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