Tag Archive: jon runyan

Not quite the ringing endorsement out of Ocean County for Runyan

Jon Runyan may be getting the support of people in Ocean County, but it certainly doesn’t seem like they are very excited about it. Lets see what Mo Hill had to say taking his name out of consideration:

“Rather than divide our party in an expensive primary, I have decided to withdraw my name for consideration and throw my support to Jon Runyan,” Hill said in the statement. “Jon has the financial ability to match Adler’s fundraising abilities as well as considerable name recognition from his professional career.”

So he’s got money and people know his name cause he was a football player. Sounds enthusiastic. But that reaction was a ringing endorsement compared to what he got from GOP Boss George Gilmore:

Gilmore said NFL player and former Philadelphia Eagle Jon Runyan of Mount Laurel “would have to be considered the front-runner” for the nomination.

Wow, talk about some excitement coming from Gilmore. He might as well have gone with the, he’s the last guy who wants it endorsement. You wonder what they’d be saying about the guy if he wasn’t willing to self fund. Runyan is going to need a more enthusiastic Gilmore to help raise his name ID in Ocean County.

It is however pretty significant that Runyan won’t have to face a primary with a candidate back by the party organization. Chris Myers only lost by a 52-48 margin and there was a bitter primary leading up to it. Runyan can consolidate the party now and raise money for what will be a well funded opponent in Adler. Not everyone is ready to clear the field as Joe Rullo says he still considers himself the front runner in Ocean County and he’s running regardless. Justin Murphy has also said he is running out of Burlington County. They are getting a late jump on things as Adler announced his campaign in September ’07 for a November ’08, while Runyan is getting started in March ’10 for a race just 8 months later. This is shaping up to be very competitive fight for the seat.

For the Eagles fan, a race that’s “Painful” to execute

The intersection of sports and politcs is always interesting. The Executive Director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is a big time Philadelphia Eagles fan and if Jon Runyan gets the nomination to run against Jon Adler, he’s gotta work against someone he once rooted for:

Out of all of the races that Vogel will oversee this cycle, there is perhaps only one that he describes as “painful” to execute. The Philadelphia native and avid sports fan will be working to re-elect 3rd district Rep. John Adler (D-N.J.) over former Eagles offensive tackle-turned-GOP candidate Jon Runyan.

“That is not my favorite thing to have to do, to take down an Eagle,” he said. “But he’s a [San Diego] Charger now. And that’s Eagles fans. We have short memories.”

I loved Runyan as a football player too.  He was a nasty tough guy. But this isn’t football, it’s politics. And like Senator Lautenberg said, politics isn’t tiddlywinks. Who knows what Runyan will be as a candidate or where he stands on the issues. The only thing we know so far is he gets a good tax break for raising donkeys and is willing to finance his own campaign. Before anyone can work against Runyan, he has to get the nomination to run. Right now he’s just trying to get George Gilmore’s approval and make nice with Ocean County.

Jon Runyan’s Donkey Show: How to reduce your taxes and elect Democrats

There has been a good deal written in the papers in the last few days about the farmland tax break that Jon Runyan is taking advantage of by raising a few donkeys. As I was searching through my computer this past weekend, I realized that’s not his only involvement with donkeys.

Back in 2007, the Democrats were trying to take control of my home town, Evesham. Yes we had non-partisan municipal elections at the time, but it was clearly partisan slates of candidates running. Just before the election, I remembered that I attended a fundraiser for the slate of Democrats including Randy Brown, John McKenna and Chris Brown. I also remembered that there were some special guests, including one Jon Runyan and then I found this photo:

Jon Runyan raises money for Evesham Democrats

That’s Runyan and other guests with the eventual winning Democratic ticket. And then there was this photo where he was interviewed while raising money for the Democrats on CSN Philadelphia:

Jon Runyan is interviewed by CSN Philadelphia as he raises money for Democrats

Ultimately, the Democrats won all three seats and took control of council:

“A big win and a clean sweep for Democrats,” said Democratic State Chairman Joseph Cryan.

And Jon Runyan helped to make it happen. So not only does Jon Runyan save money by raising donkeys, he has raised money to help elect them. George Gilmore will not be pleased.

Runyan raises donkeys for a tax break

The jokes just write themselves with this one as Congressional candidate to be Jon Runyan is also a farmer apparently:

Former Philadelphia Eagle Jon Runyan is getting a break on his property taxes for his lavish Mount Laurel homestead – thanks in part to his four donkeys.

Runyan, a Republican candidate for the U.S. House, paid $57,000 in taxes last year on five of his acres, which contain his home.

But on most of his property – 20 acres – he paid $468 in taxes, according to township records.

On his application for a farmland assessment in July, Runyan said he uses five acres as grazing land for his donkeys and 15 for timber, harvesting seven cords of firewood that he sold for $810.

You may remember the farmland assessment issue rearing its head in such races as Ellen Karcher v. Jen Beck and most recently Scott Garrett v. Dennis Shulman. As Babs pointed out in this Ken Bank diary, the GOP was relentless against Karcher on the issue. Up until recently Runyan wasn’t fulfilling his dream of raising donkeys, but was motivated by the potential of losing that tax break:

Runyan didn’t always have the four donkeys. Last January, the township assessor wrote to Runyan that one donkey wasn’t enough to justify the tax break.

“Although your application was approved for 2009, this acreage will not qualify in the future if you do not have enough animals to justify the five acres,” the letter said.

A year later, Runyan reported having four donkeys grazing on five acres, and kept his tax break.

Russell said Runyan had long planned to breed the donkeys but wasn’t ready to do that just yet.

I guess the potential increase in taxes provided the motivation to finally fulfill those plans. At 1.25 acres per donkey, they have more land than most NJ residents. I wonder what the big elephant in Ocean County George Gilmore thought over his morning coffee learning about Runyan and his affinity for donkeys.

Check out Jon Runyan’s tax deduction; you won’t believe it!

Philly.com reports former Philadelphia Eagle Jon Runyan, a Republican candidate for NJ’s 3ed congressional district, is getting a break on his property taxes for his lavish Mount Laurel homestead – thanks in part to his four donkeys.  Runyan paid $57,000 in taxes last year on five of his acres, which contain his home.  But on most of his property – 20 acres – he paid $468 in taxes, according to township records.  On his application for a farmland assessment in July, Runyan said he uses five acres as grazing land for his donkeys and 15 for timber, harvesting seven cords of firewood that he sold for $810.

Chris Russell, Runyan’s campaign manager said, “He considers himself a steward of his land, and that’s what farmland assessment is supposed to do.”

So who was “stewarding” his land while the Jets defense was knocking him down on his very ample tush?  

Everyone thinks they have the power in the 3rd district

I never thought I’d see this headline in the Courier Post:

Camden County GOP in mix for House

As things shape up for a packed primary, everyone is jockeying to show their influence and now the Camden County Republicans are feeling their oats:

The truce between Ocean County chairman George Gilmore and Burlington County chairman William Layton seemed headed south in December, when Layton reiterated his support for NFL player Jon Runyan’s candidacy. But the three chairmen, along with state party head Jay Webber, sat down shortly before the New Year in an attempt to calm the storm.

The plan, Camden County chairman Rick DeMichele said in an interview on Wednesday, involves Camden County Republicans holding off on an endorsement until the Ocean and Burlington parties name their pick.

“I discussed with them my desire to be the last county party to endorse,” DeMichele said. “If they can’t come to a consensus, then wherever Camden goes gives that candidate a clear advantage.”

So his 15% will decide he says, while 42% of the district is in Burlington County and 43% in Ocean. And about that double secret meeting:

None of the chairmen would divulge details of what was said in their meeting, however. Asked if his organization would switch its endorsement if Camden and Burlington went the other way, Gilmore would not commit.

“We’ll cross all those bridges when we come to them,” he said.

Oh boy do I hope they cross that bridge. This is starting to be some real fun. Camden County has never felt the power to really play and even if they don’t have it, I’m enjoying them trying to flex their muscles. If the party chair power struggle wasn’t enough, enter new candidate to the field Joe Rullo:

While Runyan and the party chairs grab local headlines, one prospective candidate is sitting in frustration. Joseph R. Rullo isn’t persuaded by assurances that all potential challengers will get a fair hearing. He’s already up with a campaign Web site — rullo4congress2010.com — and has announced a Feb. 18 fundraiser.

“He’s counted me out,” said Rullo, a 40-year-old solar energy consultant. “It hurt my feelings.”

Hurt feelings? Uh ok. This is politics and bare knuckle with who he’s playing. He needs to get a thicker skin if he’s upset that they don’t want him to take their power. Layton for his part could care less what anyone else says. He’s had enough Runyan Kool Aid to last the cycle:

“The excitement is overwhelming, quite frankly,” Layton said, describing voter reaction to Runyan’s candidacy.

Layton is like one of those pull string dolls. Pull string… Jon Runyan is the greatest.  Pull string… Jon Runyan is exciting. Pull string… Everyone loves Jon Runyan.

My guess, George Gilmore is not amused and that must’ve been a fun meeting in December when they all sat down to make public peace in private.

Still another hat in the 3rd district ring

If you thought things were shaping up to be fun in the 3rd Congressional District GOP pending primary, they just got a little more crowded yesterday according to the Atlantic City Press:

A former Democratic freeholder candidate and recent Republican campaign organizer is adding his name to the growing list of Republicans running for the party’s nomination in the 3rd Congressional District race.

Joseph Rullo, 40, of Toms River, said he is going through the process to be endorsed by the Ocean County Republican Organization, but said he would still run in the primary even if not backed by the party.

Here is some more on Rullo including what he’s already done for his campaign:

Rullo owns Today’s Solar Energy in Toms River and worked on Ocean County Freeholder Jack Kelly’s 2008 primary campaign for congress.  He has already opened a campaign headquarters, filed with the Federal Election Commission, and started a Web site that has, along with his bio and campaign platforms, pictures of his two cats.  

Of course this news was not welcome to Bill Layton, the chairman in Burlington County and head cheerleader for Jon Runyan:

Burlington County Republican Chairman William Layton said he had not heard of Rullo or his candidacy until contacted  Monday by The Press of Atlantic City.

Layton said he wished Rullo luck, but thought the keys to winning the upcoming election would be name recognition, fundraising ability and a personal story to contrast with Democratic Rep. John Adler.

Translation: If you’re not Jon Runyan and you’re not bringing a bank, you need not apply. And while George Gilmore got notice of Rullo’s effort, it seems he was caught off guard by the stance the candidate has already taken on his run:

Ocean County Republican Chairman George Gilmore said Rullo had reached out to him saying Rullo was interested in running but not that he would be running in the primary regardless of the county’s selection process results.

Gilmore said county organizations are put in place for the purpose of deciding what is best for the party as a whole, and that a contested primary would only weaken its chances in the general election.

“If we get in a primary fight, regardless of where candidates are coming from, it’s not a good thing for keeping the unity of the party and focusing our attention on Mr. Adler and his record,” he said.

Translation: I want to pick my own candidate through my organization and if you don’t listen choosing to run anyway, it screws us all. This one is shaping up to be good.  So far candidates saying they plan to run include Rullo, Jon Runyan, Mo Hill and Justin Murphy. Who else wants to join the party?

Should John Adler fear Joe Rullo?

The competition is getting stiff for freshman incumbent John Adler in the third congressional district.  It seems another wingnut, Joseph Rullo of Toms River, has thrown his teabag into the now four-ring-circus known as the third district GOP primary.  Assuming Justin Murphy, “Mo Hill” and Joe Rullo get most of their votes in Ocean County, it seems the Burlington County favorite, Jon Runyan, should have an easy victory.

Connors says he won’t attempt to challenge Adler

George Gilmore’s first choice to challenge Jon Runyan in a primary and John Adler in the general is out, according to a statement he released yesterday:

“The support and encouragement that I have received from friends, constituents and political leaders has been extremely flattering and very much appreciated; however, I must convey in the most definite terms, that I am not a candidate for Congress, nor will I seek my party’s nomination for that office,” Connors said in a press release.

That doesn’t mean the GOP is avoiding a primary though as Mo Hill, the Councilman from Toms River in Ocean County, Jon Runyan with the full support of Burlington County and Justin Murphy all have said they intend to run. The name of former lottery director Virginia Haines has also been mentioned as potentially having interest in the seat.

APP on potential Adler/Runyan matchup

The Asbury Park Press is hoping for a GOP primary in the 3rd Congrssional District because like we’ve said before, it would be a reporters dream. It seems like they’re trying to give a guide for how the GOP can beat Adler and they start with a competitive primary. But should Runyan be the candidate to challenge Adler for the seat, the APP offers this take:

In an arm-wrestling match against Adler – who is about half his size – he would do well. In debates with Adler, he could get sliced and diced.

I worry when expectations are set that low for anyone. I also don’t know how much debates really matter. Before anyone get to any slicing and dicing, they need to get George Gilmore to sign off on a candidacy.  The overall premise of their post is that an open primary would be better without the choosing of Gilmore and Layton. I’m guess they’re just saying that and know there isn’t a chance that would actually happen. That’s like asking Kobayashi to stop eating hot dogs.