A Republican friend of mine told me last year that if you wanted to get anywhere in Cumberland County politics, you had “to be a Democrat”. That has haunted me ever since, co ming from a person that I respect and consider to be politically savvy. That haunted me last night, at the North Italy Club, as we patiently awaited the election results. Next time he and I speak, I am going to tell him that he was wrong, thankfully.
Cumberland County has always bucked the national trends when it has come to electing Republicans. Last year when Christie swept into office, Cumberland was one of the few hold-outs that voted strongly Democrat. This year, many Democrats won the township elections. LoBiondo is not a gauge, as he always wins. He is a Cumberland County type of Republican. Frank is noted for voting for south jersey interests and against national R interests more often than almost any other Republican in congress. Is is noted for being one of the most frugal. He is accessible, always returning calls to concerned constituents, even when they leave antagonistic messages. And, the D’s didn’t fund their candidate. If your own party doesn’t take you seriously, then it is difficult to get the public to take you seriously.
Make no mistake, Lou’s scorched earth campaign was one of the major reasons the D’s could not even get oe of their candidates back into office. I spoke with many people last night. Many were D’s that voted R, only because of the smear campaign that offended them deeply. There were many moderate R’s that intended to split their vote, because they liked Joe, or like Nelson. The libelous campaign and refusal of the Democrat candidates to actually talk about issues changed their minds.
Lou will lie and claim this is part of the national trend. Deep down he knows it was his fault. As noted, D’s won in the townships. These were D’s not affiliated with Lou’s empire. They are D’s that actually CARE about Cumberland County.
Sure, the pendulum swing certainly accounted for some votes, but Joe and Nelson need to be taking Magazzu into a back alley, and do what Nelson does best – negotiate! Lou needs to take this election as a mandate that he take his marching orders, and march out of Cumberland County politics.