Dozens of Essex County Democrats packed into Democratic
Gubernatorial Candidate Barbara Buono’s Bloomfield headquarters on Wednesday
night to celebrate the location’s opening.
Local, county and state Democratic officials joined Buono and her running mate Milly Silva in the christening of the local campaign headquarters. State Assemblyman Ralph Caputo and Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker addressed the crowd, which included Bloomfield Council members Carlos Bernard, Bernard Hamilton, Nicholas Joanow, Elias Chalet and Peggy O'Boyle Dunigan.
Buono and her supporters said her campaign was gaining momentum, noting the recent news reports saying she had closed the gap by ten points in late summer. Buono and her supporters said her campaign has seen grassroots-level success in contrast to Christie, who they characterized as ignoring struggling state residents in favor of celebrities and wealthy elites.
“Why go out to visit homeless people when you can rub elbows with the Cake Boss,” Buono said.
Bloomfield Mayor Raymond McCarthy, who joined other Democratic Essex County Mayors in endorsing Republican Chris Christie earlier this summer did not attend. Instead, McCarthy doubled down on his preference for the Republican incumbent in an interview with PolitickerNJ, saying he was “happy that Barbara Buono is bringing her campaign to Bloomfield so she can see first hand how Governor Christie's leadership and accomplishments are working for our residents."
Local officials at the event declined to comment on the Mayor’s remarks but said they were enthusiastic in their support of Buono.
“I would say the crowd here is exuberant and excited,” Councilman Joanow said, adding that he believed Buono would be a good representative of the middle class in New Jersey.