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  Alleged 'Tea Party' candidate in NJ-3 might be Dem plant
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ContributorScottĀ³ 
Last EditedScottĀ³  Aug 10, 2010 08:09pm
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CategoryNews
AuthorTerry Hurlbut
News DateWednesday, July 21, 2010 02:00:00 AM UTC0:0
Description"The House race in New Jersey's 3rd District has turned ugly by several degrees, with allegations surfacing that Representative John Adler (D-NJ-3) might have actively recruited someone to register as an independent candidate and act deliberately as an election "spoiler" against Republican candidate Jon Runyan.

Peter DeStefano was a complete unknown until, on Friday, July 16, he gave this interview to PolitickerNJ.com. He had harsh words for all Democrats, especially his opponent and the current Speaker of the House, but had equally harsh words for Jon Runyan, a former NFL linebacker. "He hung up his helmet and cleats and and said, 'I think I'll become a politician,'" he told his interviewer. During the interview, he advertised himself as a "Tea Party" candidate. This entry on Project VoteSmart repeats that designation. But no Tea Party group either in North Jersey or South Jersey had ever heard of him.

In fact, according to Jane Roh of The Courier-Post (Cherry Hill), DeStefano had been ridiculously hard-to-reach for a candidate. Yet he had appeared readily enough at a meeting of the West Jersey Tea Party (formerly the Burlington County Tea Party, which earlier had endorsed C3 candidate Justin Murphy in the Republican primary). On Wednesday of last week, DeStefano had been invited to attend a screening session for Runyan, and had proceeded to lambaste Runyan in a manner that violated decorum. Several members asked him to stop, and then began questioning whether he was authentic as a Tea Party participant. William Haney, the group's president, asked DeStefano to remain behind for further consultation--which DeStefano did not."
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