Yesterday the Neptune Nudniks ran an editorial lamenting the lack of competition in the primaries.
This morning The Star Ledger reported that there are five candidates seeking the two major party nominations for U.S. Senate, 44 candidates for 13 congressional seats (they should have said 12 seats or 24 nominations) and 8 candidates for three special election primaries for State Assembly.
There are two GOP primary races in The
Asbury Park Press’s coverage area. The CD-6 race between Monmouth GOP candidate Ernesto Cullari and Middlesex GOP candidate Anna Little, and the CD-4 race between incumbent Congressman Chris Smith and Terrence McGowan of Howell.
A search for “Anna Little” reveals that the former Highlands mayor’s name has not appeared on the site since February. “Ernesto Cullari” produced no results in a search of the site. On May 14 a letter to the editor in support of McGowan in CD-4 was published. Nothing else. Congressman Smith has made international headlines recently for his work to secure Chen Guangcheng’s release from China. Yet the APP is interested only in what Smith is doing for Lakewood’s schools, an issue that Smith’s office has no authority over. APP.com also reported that a 71 year old Manchester woman drove her car into the side of Smith’s Whiting office last November.
This is not to say that the press should cover every candidate that collects signatures to get on a primary ballot. Earned media should indeed be earned and so-called “fringe” candidates should be challenged to earn their coverage. MMM is aware that it could have made the CD-4 race more competitive than the rout it will be with Smith getting over 80% of the vote. However, McGowan did nothing to earn coverage on MMM. The first we heard from anybody in the McGowan campaign was last week when we were invited by a reader to a meet and greet a couple of hours before it started.
But there is no excuse for the APP’s lack of coverage of the CD-6 race where the competing candidates each earned the endorsement of a county Republican organization. That is a story.
One could argue, and the Nudniks do as an excuse for their lack of coverage in their editorial, that the gerrymandered congressional districts make the CD-4 and CD-6 races uncompetitive and the end result of each election is a fait accompli.
Where were they during the redistricting process? They ran an editorial lamenting the gerrymandering after fact, but provided little coverage that would have increased public awareness before or during the process.
How do the Nudniks think that voters will get their information about the electorial process? They are very supportive of pay to play restrictions that make it more difficult for candidates and parties to get their messages out, yet the APP does little to pick up the slack or provide coverage to to the electoral process.