NORTHFIELD, N.J. – New Jersey continues to tread water as surrounding states and cities – including NYC – are moving to shed their COVID-19 restrictions.
On Friday, LD2 Republican State Senate canddiate Vince Polistina accused the Democrat incumbents of “begging for scraps” from Governor Phil Murphy instead of demanding an end to Murphy’s abuse of his own emergency powers.
“We all know how important conventions and trade shows are to Atlantic City, but organizing a press stunt to meekly ask the Governor to ease restrictions is like begging for table scraps when Atlantic City and Atlantic County are economically starving – it’s not good enough,” said Polistina. “Instead, Assemblymen Mazzeo and Armato, and Commissioner Fitzpatrick should demand the Governor relinquish his emergency powers – after 14 months – and if he refuses to give them up, then the Democratic majority in the legislature to vote to strip him of those powers just like Democrats did with Andrew Cuomo in New York.”
Polistina, a former Assemblyman, would once again represent Atlantic City in Trenton were he to succeed in the fall. His running mate, former A.C. Mayor Don Guardian, vented frustration at the impact Murphy’s restrictions are having on the Jersey Shore’s most famous resort heading into Memorial Day Weekend.
“As a former Atlantic City Mayor, I know firsthand the economic engine that conventions and trade shows can be for the city,” said Guardian. “But our opponents approach here – writing a letter to the Governor and then passing a toothless resolution at the county level – aren’t going to accomplish anything. We need bold leadership to revitalize Atlantic City’s economy, attract tourists, and create jobs. That doesn’t happen with some nice words at a press conference, it happens by taking action and calling on the Governor to stand down.”
Frustration with Murphy’s refusal, for example, to expand restaurant capacity beyond 50% and open up bar seating is enraging businesses, too, who fear that the Garden State’s neighbors will be the only winners if the status quo continues.
“New Jersey needs to jump on the New York bandwagon and reopen now. Our bars and restaurants continue to struggle and now New Jersey residents can travel to Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New York to enjoy extended openings. The Governor has continually said that data will determine outcomes. Hospitalizations are at a five-month low, and positive test rates are down. Governor it is time to open Main Street,” said State Director NFIB Eileen Kean in a separate Thursday statement.
LD2 is completely contained in Atlantic County and is expected to be one of the gerrymandering-protected state legislature’s few hotly-contested battlegrounds for the 2021 general election.