New Jersey – -(Ammoland.com)- The election this Tuesday, November 7 2017 will determine the future of the Second Amendment and sportsmen's rights in New Jersey.
The end of Governor Christie's term has arrived and we are faced with an existential threat that could impact us for generations if we do not do our part.
Also, with every seat in the State Legislature up for grabs and anti-gun billionaires pouring in millions to defeat even our strongest allies, we are facing a full court press to extinguish our rights. But with challenge comes opportunity – low voter turnout is expected, which means every vote for Freedom will be amplified and have the weight of several votes. If gun owners and sportsmen do their part, we can stop this effort to annihilate our rights in its tracks.
If you haven't yet seen the ANJRPC-PAC's candidate ratings and endorsements, you can find them on pages 8-9 of the magazine linked here.
Democrat Phil Murphy, touted as the front-runner and supposedly unstoppable next governor, is about as bad as it gets on the Second Amendment and sportsmen's rights. A combination of John Corzine and Michael Bloomberg rolled into one, the Obama-nominated Ambassador and Wall Street mega-millionaire banker's candidate website tells the whole story:
- “Phil Murphy would start by signing every piece of gun violence prevention legislation that Governor Christie has vetoed.” That means gun bans, magazine bans, and every misguided scheme ignored by criminals and followed only by us — the law-abiding.
- “Tax gun sales to prevent violence.” As if “violence” can be solved by throwing money at it. It's really a ploy to punish gun owners and make self-defense more difficult for those with lower incomes.
- “Promote smart gun technology.” New Jersey's 2002 smart gun law is a ban on the sale or transfer of every conventional handgun ever made. Smart guns = gun ban.
- “No one should be able to purchase a firearm without first attending a gun safety training course.” While most gun owners do get training, the exercise of the fundamental right to own firearms should not be conditioned on taking a class.
And that's just what he's willing to admit to before the election. Overconfident anti-gun legislators have already announced their anti-gun agenda “when” Murphy is elected, and it surely includes resurrection of last year's attempt to shut down every range in the Garden State, legislation that would allow marriage counselors to suspend Second Amendment rights, psychological evaluations for all gun owners, and every other scheme directed at law-abiding citizens instead of punishing criminals. National gun ban leaders are already openly plotting the demise of our rights in New Jersey.
Republican Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno is A rated and endorsed by the ANJRPC-PAC and the NRA-PVF, and has been visible and outspoken in favor of the Second Amendment. She was keynote speaker at ANJRPC's annual meeting earlier this year, marking the first time in state history that a high-level member of the executive branch has addressed an annual meeting of law-abiding gun owners. Since then, she has criss-crossed the state addressing gun clubs and sportsman's events. She is a former Sheriff who carried a gun, a military mom, and has pledged to have the backs of law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen.
Murphy has maintained a lead in the polls over Guadagno, but the polls have tightened and conventional wisdom shows the race is much closer than the polls indicate. The lessons of 2016 prove there is no such thing as an inevitable winner, as Hillary Clinton can attest. In fact, because this election is expected to have a low turnout, a focused and targeted Get Out The Vote operation can make a real impact and New Jersey's one million gun owners, hunters, sportsmen, and sportswomen have real potential to decide the election.
All 120 seats in the State Senate and General Assembly are up for grabs. Even before the election is over we know there will be several new faces in Trenton in 2018. Retirements, death and candidates running for other offices will result in no less than 16 new Senators and Assembly members next session. When all is said and done the Legislature could feature 20% new faces or people in new roles.
The hottest races can be found in South, Central and Northern New Jersey, including:
The Somerset-Middlesex-Hunterdon District could be among the most strangely designed out of all 40 in the Legislature. With a mixture of heavily conservative and heavily liberal communities packed next to typical New Jersey suburbia, it produced an election in 2015 that defeated A+ rated and endorsed Assemblywoman Donna Simon by 78 votes, leaving residents there with one Democrat Assemblyman, Andrew Zwicker, an anti-gunner and apparently avowed atheist who was reportedly sworn in on an Isaac Newton tract instead of the Bible and reportedly refused to say “so help me God” during his swearing-in. He also reportedly refuses to say “one nation, under God” when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
When in office, Donna Simon proved herself to be a true believer in the rights of law-abiding gun owners and sportsmen, voting her conscience to support freedom no matter what the consequences to herself personally. Millions of dollars were spent by anti-gun billionaires to demonize and defeat her, and they were successful on the second attempt by a heartbreaking 78 votes in 2015.
In the current race, Zwicker has once again been the beneficiary of millions spent by national gun ban groups, and Donna Simon has once again been the target of a vicious and dishonest smear campaign. Desperate to keep Zwicker in office, anti-gun democrats have now run afoul of campaign laws by posting their campaign literature on private mailboxes as recently as yesterday.
Gun owners and sportsmen in the 16th district must do everything they can to put Donna Simon back in the Assembly. With a 78-vote margin last time, this race is winnable if we do our part.
Democratic Senator Jim Whelan had already planned to retire at the end of this term before his recent untimely death changed the dynamics in the District. The suddenly open Senate seat was filled by Democrat Colin Bell. But the favorite to take the seat for many analysts is Republican Assemblyman Chris Brown. The race appears to be a statistical tie as the election nears which reflects the competitive nature of this District over the past decade.
The Assembly race features incumbent Democrat Vince Mazzeo and his running mate John Armato. They are challenged by Republicans Vince Sera and Brenda Taube. The GOP is hopeful that Chris Brown's popularity will lead him to the Senate and that he will have coattails to bring along his running mates.
The Monmouth County 11th District has, despite its changes in redistricting, leaned Republican for much of the past 25 years. That changed in 2015 when Democrats Joann Downey and Eric Houghtaling defeated two GOP incumbent Assemblywomen by a slim margin. Democrats have since that day begun to try and fortify the Assembly seats. The incumbents are being challenged by Republican local elected officials Rob Acerra and Michael Whelan.
But the signature defining race in that District will be for State Senate. Republican Jennifer Beck has represented most of the District in the Assembly and Senate since 2006. She is being challenged by local business leader Vin Gopal who Democrats believe has a similar style that reflects the suburban, professional makeup of the District.
The race could be the closest in the State on Election Day and very well could be the most costly when it is all added up. The Murphy/Guadagno matchup will also play a large part in the results in this race as turnout will certainly be higher than in 2015 especially since both candidates live in the County. Great GOP turnout in places like Colts Neck, Freehold and Ocean (where candidate Acerra is Deputy Mayor) will give them an edge while Democrats will be pushing to maximize their vote totals in more reliable towns like Asbury Park, Long Branch and Neptune.
Districts 23, 24, 25, and 26
While anti-gun billionaires have been on an election spending spree in New Jersey, they have also targeted A rated incumbents in traditionally safe districts, spending millions in a last-ditch attempt to smear and unseat those who have long supported the Second Amendment and sportsmen's rights. This is part of their long term plan to try to change the demographics in our traditional strongholds.
Nothing should be taken for granted in these districts. Gun owners, hunters, sportsmen and sportswomen need to get out on November 7 and have the backs of those who have long had theirs.
In the 23rd District, please get out to support Senator Mike Doherty, and Assemblymen Erik Peterson and John DiMaio.
In the 24th District, please support Senator Steve Oroho, Assemblyman Parker Space, and Assembly candidate Harold Wirths.
In the 25th District, please support Senator Tony Bucco and Assemblymen Anthony Bucco, Jr. and Michael Patrick Carroll.
And in the 26th, please support Senator Joe Pennacchio, and Assemblyman Jay Webber, and Assemblywoman Betty Lou DeCroce.
Kelly Langschultz (AQ rated and endorsed based on a late questionnaire) is challenging anti gun incumbent Senator Bob Gordon. William Leonard and Chris Wolf are both AQ rated and endorsed Republican candidates for Assembly challenging incumbent Democrats Tim Eustace and Joseph Lagana Gordon and Eustace have sponsored both anti gun and anti hunting bills. In fact, the Democrat incumbent issued a press release blasting Langschultz for completing a perfect candidate questionnaire. This district is one of the few competitive districts in the state. It has been one of the more expensive battleground districts the last couple of cycles because of the numbers. Turnout will play a huge roll in the outcome here.
The 39th has reliably been a Republican district but Democrats smell blood in the water after Congressman Scott Garrett lost this portion of Bergen County in his upset defeat in 2016. The Democrats have already purchased a $300,000 cable tv buy attacking GOP incumbents Sen. Gerald Cardinale, Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi and Assemblyman Robert Auth. The trio have been attacked for being reliably pro gun, and gun owners and sportsmen need to support them
AQ rated and endorsed Kristin Corrado will attempt to hold the seat vacated by former Senator Kevin O'Toole. In the Assembly, A rated and endorsed Kevin Rooney and Christopher DePhillips are defending the two recently-vacated GOP Assembly seats. The district has performed Republican but is a second tier competitive district largely because incumbents resigned and created open seats.
While these are just a few highlighted statewide legislative races, the voters will ultimately decide which Districts will be competitive on Election Day. For sure, Democratic and Republican campaign professionals see far more opportunities on the ground and both sides remain optimistic in a number of below the radar areas. For example, the Democrats continue to build a message that the reliably Republican 39th District in Bergen County is competitive and ripe for an upset. Republicans believe NJEA efforts to unseat Senate President Sweeney in District 3 could have long range impact not only if they succeed but especially if it keeps Sweeney pinned down at home instead of raising money for other candidates across the State as a person in his position would be doing this time of year.
ANJRPC PAC, INC., 2 Kiel Ave. #192 Kinnelon, NJ 07405