The race for Senate has gone on beyond the ballot between Democrat and Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Republican nominee Niki Trunk. Sweeney’s campaign has filed a lawsuit against Trunk for receiving illegal campaign contributions, which Trunk told NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider is the direction the race is going.
“I think it’s pretty telling as to where the status of our race is,” said Trunk. “I think my opponent is definitely starting to realize that his seat is in jeopardy. I think he can’t stand on his own record so he’s trying to take an error on an ELEC report and make something out of it that just isn’t there.”
Trunk’s treasurer, Chuck Adams, has taken responsibility for the error on the campaign funds. Adams originally listed the contribution money as coming from Sen. Joe Kryillos’ campaign account. Trunk said that the contributions came from an account controlled by Senate Republican leader Tom Kean.
“It was a frustrating mistake and I wish it didn’t happen, but again it was a mistake and that’s all it was,” said Trunk. “The money was appropriately transferred and we did everything else right. So it was a mistake.”
Trunk said the biggest issue that made her decide to run for Senate against Sweeney was property taxes. Trunk said Gov. Chris Christie has done his part to resolve property taxes but it takes help within the legislature to get more property tax relief. She added that it’s the number one issue she has heard from residents.
Trunk lived in Harrison Township until she moved to Salem County. Prior to her move, she served in Harrison Township as deputy mayor. Now that she is running for Senate, Harrison Township Mayor Lou Manzo, Republican, is supporting Sweeney.
“I think it’s one man who is not in my district endorsing somebody else,” said Trunk. “He named a roadway after him. A roadway that was very controversial and very upsetting to some residents and to actually name that roadway after him I think is pretty sad considering in the past we had a proud tradition naming our roadways after veterans. So I think it’s pretty interesting that he chose to do that after I left.”
Trunk says she anticipated what the race would be like and that she hasn’t had too many surprises. Trunk said that when Kean recruited her, has asked her to be herself and told her that he wanted to have good, strong, Republican candidates.
“I agreed. I think we need somebody who’s always going to put the best interest of our residents first and I was happy to step up and do this,” said Trunk.