Power Centers

New Jersey Democrats Put Tea Party Spoiler In House Race

Rep. John Adler

Rep. John Adler (D-NJ) anonymous/Adler web site hide caption

itoggle caption anonymous/Adler web site

There's an interesting case of reported political mischief in New Jersey.

Democrats reportedly entered a spoiler Tea Party candidate in the 3rd Congressional District race in order to siphon votes from a Republican challenger to incumbent Democratic Rep. John Adler.

The Courier-Post news site has the fascinating details:

Internal numbers-crunching showed the difference between Adler and his Republican opponent — then undetermined — would hover around 5 percent. To give Adler an edge, (Steve) Ayscue (a Democratic consultant) had recruited a then-unidentified man to run as a third-party candidate.

That candidate would act as a conservative spoiler to confuse voters and pull votes from Adler's eventual Republican challenger. But first he had to get on the ballot. With the filing deadline just weeks away, CCDC needed volunteers to hit the streets and collect signatures — fast.

Some of the (South Jersey Young Democrats) members were stunned. Others willingly signed on.

The story goes on to say the volunteers got the 100 signatures needed to get Peter DeStefano, a picture framer from Mt. Laurel, NJ, on the ballot as a Tea Party candidate.

Jon Runyan is the Republican candidate for the congressional seat though the plan was evidently hatched before he became the GOP nominee for the seat.

In this case the "d" in Democrat could also stand for diversion.

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