Congressman Frank Pallone’s (NJ-6, Monmouth and Middlesex) once formidable campaign war chest of roughly $4 million is down to less than $1 million according his latest report to the Federal Election Commission.
New Jersey’s senior Democratic congressman, Pallone spent $3,778,155 in the Special U.S. Senate Primary last summer in his bid to replace the late Senator Frank Lautenberg. He lost that primary to then Newark Mayor Cory Booker.
Pallone reported $938,472 cash on hand in his congressional campaign account as of March 31, 2014. He raised $200,449.64 in the first quarter of this year and disbursed #338,450.67. $60, 645 remains in his senate campaign account.
The $938,472 that Pallone reports on hand may be inflated by illegal contributions. A cursory examination of his most recent quarterly report reveals $14,200 in contributions from individuals during the current election cycle that exceed the legal limit of $2600 per election.
In an email to Middlesex and Monmouth County Republican Chairmen Sam Thompson and John Bennett, Hari Eppanapally withdrew his name from consideration for the nomination for Congress from the 6th congressional district this afternoon.
In his letter which can be read in its entirety here, Eppanapally said he made the decision to withdraw in the best interests of the GOP so that the party can put up a united fight against the incumbent, Congressman Frank Pallone, by rallying behind one candidate.
“Looking at the big picture and being a responsible leader, I feel the party’s time and energy should be spent on the main election to win this race rather than diluting it on a primary which may divide the party.”
Anthony Wilkinson, an attorney from Old Bridge, is now the only candidate seeking the Republican Party endorsements at the Middlesex and Monmouth GOP conventions which will be held tomorrow morning. Monmouth’s convention is at Freehold Township High School at 9am, Middlesex’s at Royal Albert’s Palace in Fords at 10..
Eppanapally said the GOP in CD-6 and nationally should focus on Health Care, Education and the Economy.
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Eppanapally offered an explanation for his support of Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula’s 2012 congressional candidacy against Congressman Leonard Lance in the 7th congressional district.
I want to clarify my support to Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula during his 2012 Congressional race from NJ CD7. He is a
very close long-time friend of mine. I decided to support him purely on a personal level, not because of his Party affiliation. I
want to stand corrected on this so that people do not have any misunderstanding on my belief in Republican principles.
Eppanapally did not offer an explanation of his $2500 contribution to President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign in his letter.
Pallone can be beat in a primary, as Cory Booker proved last August in the Special Senate Primary. More importantly, Pallone’s campaign war chest was depleted by about 75% in that primary last year. Eppanapally can force Pallone to spend his resources while defending his Democratic nomination while the GOP candidate, presumably Wilkinson baring an unknown primary contestant, raises funds for the fall campaign. If Eppanapally agrees to enter the Democratic Primary, MMM will lead his petition drive to get him on the ballot.
Eppanapally told MMM that he became interested in challenging Pallone after being approached by the National Republican Congressional Committee. NRCC presented Eppanapally with statistics showing that almost 300,000 Indian Americans live in Middlesex County, over 100,000 of them in CD-6 and argued, based upon Anna Little’s 2010 performance against Pallone, that an Indian American candidate could swing enough votes to beat Pallone. Eppanapally said that he would only seek the nomination if there was no primary challenge. When Wilkinson got in the race and made it clear he would run a primary campaign regardless of the outcome of the Monmouth and Middlesex GOP conventions, Eppanapally bowed out.
Eppanapally told MMM that his $2500 donation to President Obama’s reelection campaign was the price of a ticket to an event at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 2011 that he attended as an employee of Financial Policy Council Inc. Obama spoke at the event. He said he was unaware that the event was an Obama fundraiser when he attended.
Eppanapally said he would not challenge Pallone in the Democratic primary.
Eppanapally called to clarify his earlier remarks about his $2500 contribution to President Obama’s reelection campaign and the event at the Waldorf-Astoria. He said that his attendance at the event was “on the personal level” and not as an employee of Financial Policy Council Inc. He said he wrote a personal check to the Obama campaign to attend the event. Asked how he could not know that he was contributing to the Obama campaign or attending an Obama fund raisers if he wrote a check to the Obama campaign, Eppanapally said, “It doesn’t matter.”
Anthony Wilkinson, 48, of Old Bridge, will compete with Hari Eppanapally for the Republican nomination to represent the 6th Congressional District on Saturday, March 22 when the Middlesex and Monmouth County Republican organizations convene separately to nominate their candidates.
Wilkinson, the married father of two children, 26 and 17, is a partner at CoffyLaw, an Intellectual Property and Business Law firm in Freehold.
A Michigan native, Wilkinson moved to New Jersey in 1990 upon his graduation from Yale Law School where he was an editor of the Yale Law and Policy Review, a director of the Yale Moot Court of Appeals, and a founding director of the Yale Civil Rights Law Association. He received a undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan in 1986.
Wilkinson started his legal career as a Judicial Law Clerk for Chief Justice Robert N. Wilentz of the New Jersey Supreme Court before moving on to the elite Dewey Ballantine where he was an associate in the project finance group. In 1993, Wilkinson left the practice of law to embark on a career as a high school teacher.
In 2007, Wilkinson returned to the practice of business law as an Associate at Wilentz, Goldman and Spitzer where he practiced until joining CoffyLaw last month. He serves as an Educational Consultant to the Seton Hall University Academy for Urban Transformation, an Adjunct Professor of Business Law at Pillar College and as a Volunteer Teacher at the Monmouth Worship Center in Marlboro.
Wilkinson has not previously sought elected office. He told MMM that he has never contributed to a Democratic congressional or presidential candidate. He was recently appointed to the Old Bridge Township Ethics Board.
Wilkinson bested Eppanapally before the Middlesex GOP Screening Committee last week, 20 votes to 11.
Hari Eppanapally of Livingston will be seeking the Republican nomination for congress in the 6th congressional district next Saturday at the Monmouth and Middlesex nominating conventions. His prior political experience is as an active fundraiser for Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula’s 2012 congressional run against Republican Congressman Leonard Lance in the 7th congressional district.
Eppanapply contributed $2500 to President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign.
MMM hereby endorses Eppanapally for the Democratic nomination for congress in CD-6.
Really. Eppanapally has a better chance of beating Frank Pallone in the Democratic primary than he does of beating Pallone in the general election.
The Vice President and member of the Board of The Financial Policy Council, a free market oriented non-profit think tank and policy advocate, Eppanapally would be a much better congressman than Pallone.
Steve Lonegan is not going to win the GOP nomination to replace the retiring Congressman Jon Runyan in New Jersey’s third congressional district.
The party bosses in Ocean and Burlington Counties that comprise the district have settled on endorsing former Randolph Mayor Tom MacArthur. Ocean County Republicans with the stones to defy Chairman George Gilmore are lining up behind Toms River Councilman Maurice Hill, a retired Navy rear admiral. If Lonegan continues to compete for the nomination in the party conventions, he’s likely to come in third in Ocean and second in Burlington. Lonegan does not have an organization to compete with the Ocean and Burlington Republican organization should he run a primary race against MacArthur.
Lonegan should stop fighting fellow Republicans in Ocean and Burlington and come north to Monmouth and Middlesex where we need his considerable talent. If Monmouth GOP Chairman John Bennett and Middlesex GOP Chairman Sam Thompson have not been on the phone pleading with Lonegan to take on ObamaCare author Frank Pallone in the 6th Congressional district, they are missing an opportunity.
He had pledges for the $30,ooo he wanted to raise in thirty days and said Monmouth GOP Chairman John Bennett reacted enthusiastically to his potential candidacy, but at the moment of choice his heart was not in it. Ernesto Cullari, a GOP primary candidate for the CD-6 nomination in 2012 told MMM he will not seek the nomination to challenge Frank Pallone this year.
Cullari said he recently signed a deal to author a series of novellas, the first of which will be released later this year, and that his commitment to that project and his partners was the major stumbling block to mounting his second campaign for public office.
Ernesto Cullari of Asbury Park said that if he can raise $30,000 in thirty days he will seek the Republican nomination to challenge Congressman Frank Pallone at the Monmouth and Middlesex Republican nominating conventions on March 22.
The conservative Justified Right columnist for the triCityNews was the Monmouth GOP endorsed candidate in the 2012 6th district primary which he lost for former Highlands Mayor Anna Little who was tabbed by the Middlesex GOP.
Cullari said that he had hoped that Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden had run against Pallone. “Shaun is a great elected official and public servant. He was the candidate who could really have taken it to Pallone, ” Cullari said, “now that Shaun has said he is not running, I am taking a serious look at doing it. If I can raise $1000 per day for a month, I’m in.”
“I want to fight for my county. I’m too old for military service, but I would run against Pallone as if I were protecting our freedom, because I believe that ultimately that is what is a stake given what is going on in Washington.”
Cullari said he would file a statement of organization with the Federal Election Commission this week and start calling his supporters for donations.
Former Howell Mayor Joe DiBella issued the following statement this morning:
Over the past week I have received numerous calls and inquires related to my challenging Frank Pallone for the 6th Congressional District seat. I’d like to first thank the many people who called and encouraged me to challenge Congressman Pallone. The outpouring of support and encouragement was sincerely appreciated and I put considerable time into evaluating a run for Congress.
As I have said repeatedly, Sheriff Shawn Golden would have be an exceptional candidate to challenge Frank Pallone. Sheriff Golden is an accomplished public servant with a proven capacity to lead and a common-sense approach to government that is desperately needed in Washington, DC. I was disappointed to learn Sherri Golden opted not to run but respect and understand his decision. I would only have sought the Republican nomination in the event Sherriff Golden declined to run.
Having thought about my own potential candidacy and having discussed the issue with my wife and children, I have notified Chairman Bennett that I have decided against running for Congress and seeking the nomination at this time. While intrigued with the possibility of running for Congress and especially against the tax-and-spend liberal Frank Pallone, the timing is simply not right for my family and I at this time.
I do believe that the Republican party in Monmouth and Middlesex will come together and that the organizations will have a strong candidate to challenge and ultimately unseat Frank Pallone. Simply put, Pallone is out of touch and out of step with the people of Monmouth and Middlesex Counties. His tax-and-spend approach has contributed to a weakened economy and a growing national unemployment rate. Plus, as one of the main architects of the patient protection and affordable care act he has participated in a historic assault on the American heath care system that 4 years after its passage has left patients less protected and health insurance more unaffordable than ever.
I stand ready to work with our party in helping to defeat Frank Pallone and return responsible Republican representation to the 6th district. I hope to have an opportunity to serve in the future.
Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden told MMM that he will not be a candidate for Congress this year.
Monmouth County Republican Chairman John Bennett has been urging Golden to take on Congressman Frank Pallone due to the sheriff’s strong record of accomplishment and his popularity at the polls.
“I would love to see Shaun Golden run for Congress, ” Bennett said earlier this month, ‘Not only is he popular and a demonstrated vote getter, he has an outstanding record with a documented ability to get things done.”
Golden said that it is just not the right time for him to take on a congressional campaign.
Former Howell Mayor Joe DiBella said last week that he “would love to run against Pallone” if Golden doesn’t. Bennett told MMM that he received a message from DiBella expressing his interest. DiBella has not returned several phone calls inquiring about his candidacy from MMM this week.