CLARK, NJ - In response to Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman's statement that she endorses Colleen Mahr in the Fanwood Democratic Primary on June 4, State Senator Nick Scutari, Chairman of the Union County Democratic Committee, issued the following statement regarding what he said was "the endorsement of Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman of the Democratic candidates on Column A:"
"As Chairman of the Union County Democratic Committee, I personally reached out to the Congresswoman and asked for her endorsement for the Column A slate in the towns she represents in Union County – which are Fanwood, Plainfield, and Scotch Plains," Scutari wrote.
Following that conversation, my chief of staff, Tony Teixeira, followed up with her advisor James Gee. As the screenshots of text messages show, Mr. Gee affirmed the Congresswoman’s support of our Democratic Column. We sent them a script for her to record a robocall which says the Column A slate. Mr. Gee reviewed the script and confirmed that it was fine and that the Congresswoman would record. At no time did she, nor Mr. Gee, express any concerns or reservations with this endorsement.
Mr. Teixeira’s own conversations over the phone with Mr. Gee confirmed that the Congresswoman would stand by any endorsement material that had the entire column represented.
Last evening, Phyllis Mirabella, our Column A candidate for Democratic Committee in Fanwood District 6, approached Rep. Watson Coleman at the conclusion of the Congresswoman’s town hall in Fanwood, and personally thanked her for the support for the Column A team in Fanwood. The Congresswoman gave no indication that there was an issue or any confusion.
Based on my conversation with the Congresswoman, and the texts from her advisor, and even Mrs. Mirabella’s interaction with the Congresswoman, we stand by the flyer stating her endorsement in Fanwood for the Column A team. It appears what we have here is a typical Washington game being played out where a politician, or her staff, told both parties she was with them.
I am disappointed in the actions of Congresswoman Coleman and her staff. We took great lengths to secure and later confirm her endorsement, and we took her at her word - she agreed to endorse, and that is what the flyer says."
- Chairman Nicholas Scutari