Kovach: Competent Enough for Congress?

Kovach: Competent Enough for Congress?

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Janice Kovach: competent enough for Congress?
Janice Kovach: competent enough for Congress?

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.


5 thoughts on “Kovach: Competent Enough for Congress?

  1. My guess is she didn’t really want the job anyway. Nobody else wanted it, and she probably agreed to “stand-in” so Democrats wouldn’t be embarrassed about not having a candidate in the general election.

  2. I take exception to the premise of your blogpost. The only “extremely troubling” incompetence here was on the part of the NJ Division of Elections. On their own website they provide the following instructions to candidates regarding candidate petitions:

    In accordance with N.J.S.A. 19:13-3 et seq., petitions must meet the following requirements:
    -Names, addresses and signatures of at least 100 registered voters in the Congressional District. (N.J.S.A. 19:13-5);
    -Name and address of the candidate. (N.J.S.A.19:13-6);
    -Signed Affidavit of Circulator of the petition.
    Note: Affidavit must be notarized. Pursuant to the Consent Order entered in Green Party, et als. v. State of New Jersey, et als. Docket No. MER-C-125-06 (Ch. Div. 2007), THE CIRCULATOR DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A REGISTERED VOTER OF THE DISTRICT, but must be a voter-eligible New Jersey resident and provide his or her address on the petition in the designated location; and
    -Certificate of Acceptance and Oath of Allegiance signed by the candidate. (N.J.S.A19:13-8)
    Note: Oath of allegiance must be notarized.

    Janice Kovach filed petitions with more than the 200 signatures needed to run in the Democratic primary. She filed her petitions on the Friday before the Monday deadline. When a portion of her petitions were mistakenly rejected by the NJ Division of Elections, she attempted to refile the corrected petitions on Monday, and again they were mistakenly rejected.

    But maybe you’re right: Ms. Kovach probably should have figured in the kind of Republican dirty tricks that our governor is known for. It was “incompetent” of her to expect the NJ Division of Elections to follow its own guidelines.

    Its no surprise that you’d rather talk about other things than the issues. Leonard Lance has become an extreme right-wing Republican who is totally out of step with the 7th CD. His “accomplishments” in Congress are helping to shut down the Federal government last fall and repeatedly whining about the Affordable Care Act. He calls himself a fiscal conservative, but he has no problem repeatedly sending what amount to campaign mailings on the taxpayer’s dime.

  3. As happens sometimes in the heat of political thought, I was not entirely fair to Congressman Lance in describing his accomplishments while in Congress. While I disagree with him on almost all the “hot button” issues, on the issue of mental health treatment he has been very pro-active and has been an effective advocate for improved services for people suffering from this challenging health problem. Good work Congressman.

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