#NJSen Hopefuls Fight to the Finish

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Brian Goldberg campaigns at the Summit Street Fair

Brian Goldberg campaigns at the Summit Street Fair

With the NJ GOP watching passively from the sidelines, Save Jerseyans, four men desirous of the chance to take on the Cory Booker (D-Twitter) media machine this November are working hard through Tuesday evening to earn that right.

Artisanal concrete businessman Brian Goldberg, who picked up the Bergen Record‘s backing on Sunday, is continuing to rely almost exclusively on web-based mediums to get his message out ahead of Primary Day in expectation that his significant county line advantage can do the rest. His online content includes short, positive web videos including this one released on Monday titled ‘Bright Future.’ Brian’s a likable guy one-on-one; will he be able to raise the dough to put together a serious campaign effort? 

Middlesex-backed Professor Murray Sabrin isn’t much better-heeled though he boasts some residual statewide name recognition and has eagerly served as Goldberg’s self-appointed primary antagonist, taking shots at his opponent via social media (and traditional media); he’s doing some more traditional stuff, too, including trumpeting his endorsement from the Philadelphia Inquirer and running a radio spot. I’ll say this much: Sabrin would spend the next five months on constant offense regardless of whether (and this is a big “if”) the electorate accepts his hardcore brand of libertarianism.

Sabrin also went through the time and expense of dropping an attack mailer on conservative Rich Pezzullo in the final weekend leading up to Primary Day, presumably because Sabrin thinks Pezzullo could siphon votes from him in uncommitted counties or, more generally, win the support of voters who aren’t voting for Goldberg in Goldberg-committed Republican counties like Ocean and Atlantic. Pezzullo owns the lines in vote-rich Monmouth and populous Union County and, in addition to going on the radio, is working his tail off by all accounts. He’s also made grassroots headway around the state by aggressively recruiting volunteers and initiating voter contacts, but without polling, it’s hard to know whether he’s making a dent. He’s impressed me quite a bit but, again, ground game alone won’t win November. He’ll need to find a way to leverage his communication abilities into donations.

Jeff Bell, for his part is trying to make his dent with mail, having skipped the convention season altogether. He’s in a category all by himself since the primary purpose of his campaign is raising the issue profile of the Gold Standard. Quixotic? Perhaps, but at least he believes in something. Bell once had considerable name recognition before this blogger was born. Will a combination of targeted mail and some radio spots be enough, hypothetically, to elevate him to #2 across the board in key counties and squeak out a win? Unlikely, but wouldn’t that be something?

My analysis hasn’t changed fundamentally for weeks now. The fact that our buddy Art is telling people to write in Joe Kyrillos tells you all that you need to know about how badly the powers-that-be have screwed up this year’s opportunity to deny Cory Booker a lifetime Senate job. Still, I don’t blame the candidates. They’re trying, and I’ll proudly press the button for one of them on Tuesday. You should, too.

 

Matt Rooney

Matt Rooney

Save Jersey’s Founder and Blogger-in-Chief, Matt Rooney is a widely-respected New Jersey political commentator, practicing attorney at the law firm of DeMichele & DeMichele in Haddon Heights, and a graduate of the Rutgers Camden School of Law.

17 Comments

  1. I like Rich Pezzullo. He is the only candidate who reached out and spoke anywhere nearby so that I could meet him. Even without that, I did my own research and determined that he is most closely aligned with my views and most deserving of my vote.

  2. How does a libertarian support the death penalty and oppose same sex marriage? I am not voting for Pezzullo or Bell, but honestly, if Sabrin is a true libertarian and not a mash up for Republicanism and Libertarainism, he would oppose the death penalty and support same sex marriage.

    LMAO he’s claiming to be pro life, but supports the government killing people. HAHAHA.

    • Agree! Rich Pezzullo is best for the job. Dem Booker is typical liberal. Criteria for running: doing a bad job .

  3. Rich is the guy. He’s the only candidate who’s campaign hasn’t entirely disintegrated, and he’s mounted the most vigorous effort despite having even less money than Goldberg if the FEC is to be believed. Goldberg has proved he’s a rookie, Sabrin has proved that he’s Sabrin, and Bell has proved that single-issue candidates don’t get much love. Pezzullo has made his share of missteps, but I still think he’s the only one with the communication ability and the ability to excite volunteers to make a dent in Booker’s 60-pointer. Goldberg would run a snoozer of a campaign and try to sell sunshine and butterflies to people who want answers, Sabrin would gaffe his way in to oblivion and Bell would blather about the gold standard until everyone fell asleep and forgot to go vote for him.

    • Snoozer of a campaign? You wait – after hes announced the winner, Goldberg will probably come out with some crucifying ads against Booker. He is the one that’s determined to become the next Republican senator. Bell is 100% doing it for show. Sabrin is doing it to get some last minute glory. And Pezzullo is doing it because he was bored with life. Goldberg it is.

      • Golberg has a “positive message” and he’s “not angry, he’s passionate.” John McCain, is that you? We need somebody who isn’t proven to suck at campaigning. Goldberg has no idea what he’s doing. He did okay at conventions because they’re moderate rooms, but remember, he won Ocean, Hudson and Passaic by less-than-democratic means.

      • Plus thanks to vigorous campaigns by the other three he now has by far the lowest name ID. Booker would be in the 60s in the polls by July and Goldberg would be another name on the long list of moderate Republicans who failed to make a dent in Blue Jersey.

      • And those are some serious personal allegations to level at candidates, which you have no grounds for.

      • If anyone’s bored with life it’s Goldberg. If you watch his earlier interviews you’ll hear him talk about how he weighed running for Congress and even Governor. He just wanted to be a politician. He doesn’t care about you, he wants to feel important.

  4. Plus, Booker vs. Bell would turn in to Booker running a “Jersey Boy” campaign, bringing in Springsteen to help him out, and convincing Jersey voters (as Bell’s primary opponents have tried to do, to no avail) that a Virginian cannot represent New Jersey.

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