N.J.S.A. 19:14-2.1 will likely bail out Janice Kovach in New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District, Save Jerseyans, but her would-be constituents should not.
You may have heard that Kovach’s bid to challenge incumbent Leonard Lance in November fell short on Monday when her campaign failed to file sufficient signatures to earn a sport on the primary ballot. No other Democrat nominee stepped up to try their own hand at federal politics so, at the moment, it’s clear-sailing for Lance provided he can defeat perennial challenger David Larsen in the GOP primary. She’s vowing to appeal.
Allow me to appeal to the good people of CD7: regardless of what happens to Kovach’s candidacy, moving forward, there are two extremely troubling problems underlying the Kovach campaign’s petition screw-up which should worry anyone who was predisposed to giving her a chance either this year or at some point in the future…
(1) Disorganization: How does Kovach, who serves as the New Jersey Democrat Party’s Secretary, Hunterdon County Democrats Vice-Chair AND the mayor of Clinton not come up with the requisite 200 signatures for ballot access plus a safe cushion amount to account for routine challenges and/or deficiencies?
Even Robert Turkavage, the GOP Senate hopeful who failed to file due to a traffic jam, reportedly garnered 1,000+ signatures. I could get that in one weekend standing in a busy shopping center. Not ready for prime time! And certainly not capable of mounting a credible campaign against a veteran competitor.
(2) Incompetence: Candidates can afford to stumble from time-to-time but NEVER when it concerns his or her perceived strength. Kovach’s branding isn’t overtly ideological relative to other N.J. Democrat challengers; her website has “I’m qualified” written all over it and goes into great detail about her past experience in the private sector.
None of that is very believable based on Monday, is it? And it’s likely to prove politically fatal for Kovach.
Yes, “the issues” are of paramount importance in any contest for public office. No doubt about it. But government isn’t simply a debating society, is it? Ideally, though not always in practice, we’re electing people who can lead, a task which includes administering and overseeing the vital functions of public office.
President Obama’s incompetent handling of the Obamacare enrollment roll-out and Russia’s renewed territorial ambitions is evidence enough of the supreme importance of choosing candidates who are adults, not just adults-in-training with whom you happen to agree on tax or environmental policy.
Right now, based off of what we saw on Monday, I wouldn’t trust Janice Kovach to run the graveyard shift at a lemonade stand let alone represent hundreds of thousands of North Jerseyans in Congress.