MORRISTOWN, NJ – There’s a saying that goes like this, “Be careful what you ask for.”
Despite the ballots not even fully counted, the State of New Jersey Division of Elections declared former Barack Obama era FDA administration Rikin Mehta, a Democrat until recently, the winner of a very close mail-in ballot election against conservative Atlantic County Republican. Mehta has not disputed the validity of the flawed mail-in ballot and took the spoils of war, siding with Governor Phil Murphy and accepting the results as gospel.
That was probably the last time Mehta will win anything in New Jersey, because this week a poll done by Emerson University showed Democrat Cory Book with a commanding 30 point lead of Mehta just weeks into his campaign.
“Senator Cory Booker leads Republican challenger Rik Mehta 52% to 28%, 16% were undecided and 5% said they plan to vote for someone else,” the poll said.
When voters were asked how much confidence they have in the election results regardless of who wins in November, 45% said they were somewhat confident in election results, 25% were somewhat unconfident, 24% were very confident, and 6% said they have no confidence at all.
Republican voters lead amongst those who reported they will have no confidence in the election results, with 11% compared to 8% of Independents and 2% of Democrats. Only 41% of Republicans polled said they had confidence in Governor Phil Murphy’s mail-in ballot elections.
Many within the Republican Party have abandoned Mehta, especially after his campaign went broke earlier this summer and fell into debt. Then, Mehta was delivered more bad news as most of his campaign staff quit on him.
Mehta’s campaign treasurer Ron Gravino penned a parting letter to political insiders explaining why he’s the latest of Mehta’s senior staff to leave the former D.C. Democrat’s campaign, just days after he won the Republican primary, which was unofficially officially certified by the State Election Division.
Gravino confirmed the departure of Chris Russell of Checkmate Wins political consulting, which has been rumored for weeks, but not confirmed until today. Gravino cited “serious differences in the financial area and management of the campaign”. Most likely, Gravino would prefer to work on a U.S. Senate campaign that is not over $300,000 in debt out of the gates…a no-win situation for the Republican party.
“Over two weeks ago Rik Mehta and I decided that we could not move forward with his US Senate race any longer due to serious differences in the financial area and management of the campaign,” Gravino said. “Finally today his attorney finalized all paperwork with the State of New Jersey to remove Amberle Gilroy and myself as officers and trustees to end our liability.”
Gravino said, last week Chris Russell the GC, Amanda Woloshen the campaign manager and Christina Sofia-Comer the fundraiser also all parted ways with Mehta, despite winning a close mail-in-ballot election against Conservative Republican Hirsh Singh. Gravino said people are owed a lot of money and Mehta provided the campaign with absolutely no clear plan to pay debts or raise campaign funds.
“A significant amount of money is due from the primary with no plan to deal with it,” Gravino said.
Last week, Mehta met with the Ocean County GOP splinter faction, looking to drum up political and financial support, but reportedly left emptyhanded.
With just two months before the November election, it’s not looking good for Mehta.