Which candidates are better known?

Why either LD 13 slate could still win

Provolone is cheese

By Art Gallagher

WhoMonday night at the Two Rivers Republican Club of Fair Haven Meet the Candidates night, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon and Assembly Candidate Edna Walsh got into it over which slate is better known.

While scolding the challengers for running against “the best, most conservative, delegation in the legislature,” and dismissing the Bayshore Tea Party backed candidates’ justification for running,  i.e., that Joe Kyrillos, Amy Handlin and O’Scanlon don’t share the conservative values of the district the challengers say,  O’Scanlon said, “Where have you been?  I haven’t heard from you and no body has heard of you.”

Walsh retorted, “As I go door to door, no one has heard to you.”  To which O’Scanlon scoffed.

Both O’Scanlon and Walsh are probably right.  Unless something has happened that nobody has accounted for in the last two years, very few of the legislative candidates in the district, and throughout the state, incumbent or not, are very well known.

In March of 2011, days before the new legislative map was announced, I was disgusted that Dr. Alan Rosenthal of Rutgers, the deciding vote on the commission that was designating the gerrymandered map that in all likelihood would determine the partisan composition of the legislature for the next decade, had on his own created a criteria by which the map should be determined; continuity  of representation.

In Rosenthal’s mind, there was a value to the electorate in having their legislators serve continuously over time.  In my experience, most of the electorate did not know who their legislators were and it couldn’t possibly matter to the people if their representatives were rookies or long term incumbents, because they wouldn’t know who was a rookie and who a polished professional.

To test my thesis, I camped outside of Assemblywoman Amy Handlin’s legislative office in Belford with my video camera. I asked passers by if they knew who represented them in the state legislature and what district they lived in.  The results of my unscientific poll were not pretty.  Of the 20 some odd people I spoke with, only one correctly identified the district he lived in and all three of his legislators.  Several guessed that their state legislators were U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg and Congressman Frank Pallone.  One woman said her legislator was “Provolone” before her daughter told her “provolone is cheese.”

Every politician should view this video. Unless your name is Christie, Obama, Clinton or Bush, chances are that you are not as popular or as well known as you think you are.

More people have read MoreMonmouthMusings in the last month than are likely to vote in the LD 13 primary on June 4.  1500 more people visited MMM in the last week than voted in the 2011 LD 13 primary.

It is very possible that the people who will decide the 2013 Republican nominees for State Senate and Assembly in LD 13 have yet to hear of Joe Kyrillos , Leigh-Ann Bellew, Declan O’Scanlon or Edna Walsh.

It is very likely that a high percentage of those who promised a candidate or volunteer they will cast the desired vote on June 4 will forget to vote.

Posted: May 22nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 13th Legislative District, Bayshore Tea Party Group, LD 13, Primary Election | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

One Comment on “Which candidates are better known?”

  1. Bob English said at 8:43 am on May 23rd, 2013:

    That was very interesting. Easy to understand why very low turnout contested primary elections can be a crapshoot in trying to pick the winners.

    On as side-note, it was good to see video of Campbells Junction which was very close to where I grew up. Spent many hours at the soda counter in Wasserman’s or opening packs of baseball cards outside of the store. Played baseball from dawn to dark in the laste 60’s and early 70’s on the field across from 7/11 which is between Rite Aid and the bank.

    Nice to see my Little League baseball coach (and father of a high school and college friend) Joe Buckley and his wife in your video.