CLARK, NJ - On Monday, residents of the Third Ward received a campaign mailer from Republican candidate for Town Council, Steve Hund. The mailers, which were paid for by the Clark Republican Campaign 2014, included the following wording:
“Re-Elect Clark Board of Education Members Carmen Brocato, Laura Caliguire & Michael Bonaccorso Jr.”
While Brocato and Caliguire are incumbent candidates for the Board of Education, Bonaccorso, Jr. is a newcomer. Michael Bonaccorso, Sr., who currently sits on the BOE, is not seeking reelection.
“It’s pretty sad the current administration is portraying a newcomer as an incumbent in the Board of Education election,” said Steve Donkersloot, who is also running for the first time. He is the fourth candidate in the BOE race. Three seats are open on the board.
“The verbiage was supposed to be ‘elect’ and ‘re-elect',” said Hund. “I only caught it myself when it came out and I saw it in my mailbox Monday afternoon.” Hund said he approved the inclusion of the Board of Education blurb in the mailer because he supports the three candidates.
John DeSimone, Clark Republican Party Chairman, said it shouldn’t have said re-elect and thought that it must have been an oversight. “Without a doubt, yes, it could be misleading,” DeSimone said. “But it’s really not a big deal. Elect or re-elect.”
There wouldn’t ordinarily be school board election language on a council candidate’s literature, DeSimone said, but, he continued, “They probably just threw that on there because they support the Board of Education.”
According to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Committee, there are no laws or rules governing the use of the words “elect” or “re-elect” in paid campaign literature.