Correction: the GOP candidate’s name is John Campbell Jr., not Tom Campbell. Thanks to Dottie G who spotted the error. – Rosi
OK, 33 points behind isn’t looking good but maybe she can still make her presence felt and let voters know they do have an alternative to the status quo. In the midst of all the last minute jockeying for position prior to next week’s election is an interesting story coming out of LD 22 where the GOP candidate Tom Campbell, who is 23 years old, is accused by a high school classmate of gay bashing and homophobic bullying. The story speaks for itself, but what really strikes me is how Campbell issues a nondenial denial saying he can’t remember what he did in high school 5 or 6 years ago, but if he did anything wrong he apologizes. He also refers to “the alleged incident” that he doesn’t remember as if it was a singular event, but according to the story it was ongoing over an extended period of time. Aside from the gay bashing itself, how can the GOP put up a candidate for State Assembly who is 23 years old but whose memory is so bad he can’t remember what he did in high school only 5 years ago? I’m 59, but I can assure everyone that if I was accused of something similar when I was in high school I would definitely remember. You just don’t forget those things.
So where do we go from here? While this may not be an issue that drives voters to the polls for Barbara Buono, it can be useful in reinforcing voter’s perception of the GOP as the last bastion of homophobia, bigotry and intolerance. 33 points behind, Buono has absolutely nothing to lose by scheduling a campaign stop in LD22, and hold a press conference along with Dem candidates Jerry Green and Linda Stender, and perhaps other Democratic and gay activist leaders, demanding Tom Campbell come clean about what he did or didn’t do five years ago. They should also demand that if Campbell doesn’t come clean and hold himself accountable for his conduct, then the GOP leadership (and that includes Christie) should hold him accountable and repudiate his candidacy.