LINDEN, NJ—Mayor Derek Armstead today called on his primary opponent, Councilwoman Gretchen Hickey, to disavow lies and other hateful messages her supporters have spread during the campaign. The Mayor’s demand comes just days after a Hickey supporter posted on his wife’s Facebook page saying, “I would never like anything from you unless the post read that you or your husband was dead. Now that I would love the hell out of.” The Hickey supporter followed that with a post that read “Lets (sic) all pray gretchen hickey (sic) wins.”
“This type of violent, hateful rhetoric has no place in Linden and no place in politics,” said Mayor Armstead, “Sadly, Councilwoman Hickey’s campaign of lies and hate has created an atmosphere where people in our community feel this type of cruel, threatening language is appropriate. Everyone in Linden needs to stand together against hate in all forms, and show that our community believes in honesty, respect, and compassion.”
This is not the first time Hickey’s supporters have been caught spreading lies about Mayor Armstead. In addition to this threat against the Mayor and his family, Hickey supporter and Councilman John Roman filed a frivolous assault charge against the Mayor and then lied to the Star Ledger about an old case against the Mayor that had been dismissed. Roman claimed the Mayor had assaulted a Linden fire fighter, but the case he referenced had been dismissed and the charges dropped.
“Gretchen Hickey and her supporters have spent this entire campaign drumming up drama and spreading lies because they have no new ideas for our city or legitimate criticisms of my actions while in office,” said Mayor Armstead, “The fact is, I am moving Linden forward by eliminating the garbage tax, cutting our municipal taxes, revitalizing our downtown, and connecting hundreds of Linden residents with good jobs. Councilwoman Hickey doesn’t have any new ideas, which is why she and her supporters have resorted to spreading lies and threatening me and my family. Fortunately, voters in Linden are smart enough to see through her tricks and will reject her campaign’s lies and hateful rhetoric.”