The campaign for state Sen. Anthony Bucco (R-25th Dist.) wasted no time in firing a broadside at challenger William Chegwidden, calling the Morris County freeholder director a “triple-dipper” who raised taxes as mayor of Wharton.
Looks like we’re in for a lively primary. Here is the statement from Tony Bucco’s camp, responding to Wednesday’s campaign announcement by Bill Chegwidden:
FROM STATE SEN. ANTHONY BUCCO’S CAMPAIGN:
BILL CHEGWIDDEN TODAY ANNOUNCES BID FOR AN UNPRECEDENTED FOURTH TAXPAYER-FUNDED JOB
Triple Dipper Wants Promotion after Raising Wharton Property Taxes 3 Different Times
(Boonton, NJ) – Today, triple-dipper Bill Chegwidden will announce he intends to run for a fourth taxpayer-funded job in the state Senate, somehow finding more time in the day to campaign while holding three jobs as a full-time high school teacher, Mayor of Wharton Borough and as the County’s Freeholder Director. Combined, Chegwidden earns over $100,000 on the backs of taxpayers, plus health and pension benefits.
“New Jersey has a sad and expensive history of politicians with two taxpayer-funded jobs, but Bill Chegwidden has taken it to quite possibly a new record level by not only holding three jobs, but campaigning for a fourth,” said Bill Hildebrand, spokesman for Bucco for Senate. “This is the kind of stuff that has taxpayers throwing up their hands in frustration, and what Senator Bucco is trying to put a stop to in New Jersey.”
“The facts are clear in this race. Mr. Chegwidden holds three taxpayer funded jobs, has raised property taxes at least three different times, and now wants a promotion to a fourth public job,” said Hildebrand. “Taxpayers know better. Republican Senator Tony Bucco is a leading fiscal conservative who worked with Governor Christie in authoring last year’s state budget which cut state spending nine percent, and closed an eleven billion dollar deficit without raising taxes.”
In 2007, Chegwidden said he would give up one of his two elected jobs, but broke that promise in 2009. The Daily Record blasted him for the decision, stating “one elected job is enough.” By comparison, Senator Bucco has long supported a more ethical government in New Jersey, voting to end dual office holding and double-dipping in the state pension systems.
Additionally, as the new Mayor of Wharton in 2001, Bill Chegwidden passed the first tax increase in his town in a decade, and raised property taxes again in 2003 and 2008, the latter by nearly 17 percent.
“We look forward to a campaign highlighting Senator Bucco’s proven conservative record and leadership on cutting spending, fighting tax increases and helping create jobs for New Jersey families, and comparing that to Mr. Chegwidden’s three taxpayer-funded jobs and raising property taxes at least three different times,” said Hildebrand.
Senator Bucco is endorsed by the Somerset County Republican Organization, and today announced the endorsements of Republican County Sheriff Ed Rochford, County Clerk Joan Bramhall, and County Surrogate John Pecoraro. A substantial number of key Republican endorsements will be rolled out in the coming days.