In a move that is perhaps more geared towards securing a lucrative public insurance deal than political ideology, a Washington-based super PAC closely linked to a prominent New Jersey Democrat has started spending money on help a Republican win a mayoral race in Parsippany.
The decision to back James Barbiero’s return candidacy could force party leaders to ask John FX Graham, founder of Fairview Insurance Agency Associates, to step down as a member of the Democratic National Committee, three party leaders have said. in the New Jersey Globe, with Democrats making it clear that they have the back of Mayor Michael Soriano, who toppled Barbiero in 2017.
The super PAC, America’s Future First, is controlled by Graham’s son Ryan and has already sent a letter to voters in Parsippany attacking Soriano.
Democratic State President LeRoy Jones, Jr. personally asked Graham to step down from their involvement with Parsippany, but his request was denied.
“LeRoy is a strong supporter of Soriano and was really upset when Ryan refused his request,” said one of the Democrats involved. “There are going to be repercussions. “
Graham’s company had Parsippany’s insurance policy until 2018, when Soriano threw them out.
The Super PACs have been involved in Parsippany since 2015, when a 527 black money-linked organization, New Jersey’s Future First, starred in a Republican primary to support the Barbiero-backed city council candidates.
As a federal super PAC, America’s Future First is not required to disclose spending on state races – although they have reported spending on the Atlantic City mayoral race and a council race. West Orange in 2020.
PAC said it has raised $ 190,810 so far this year, including $ 121,210 from Garden State Forward, a super PAC formed by the New Jersey Education Association. Fairview directly contributed $ 21,000 to PAC, along with other contributions from the Wilentz law firm.
Last year, Fairview and a related company, Foundation Risk Partners, contributed $ 48,950 to PAC, with an additional $ 185,000 from Garden State Forward.
PAC connected to Fairview is spending money to boost Democrat Amy Kennedy’s 2020 congressional campaign in District 2 – John Graham was a Kennedy fundraiser – and on MP Betty Lou DeCroce’s unsuccessful reelection bid (R-Parsippany) in the 2021 Republican Primary in the 26th legislative constituency.
The NJ Globe confirmed that the NJEA’s money was intended to help DeCroce and that all of their money was spent on his campaign.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 102, donated $ 500 to America’s Future First, a week before the primary elections. Local 102 is where the Republican who ousted DeCroce, Christian Barranco, works.
Fairview Insurance declined to comment. Jones did not immediately return a text message requesting comment.
Soriano’s campaign underscored the strong support of the state’s Democratic leadership.
“We know the sender and the PAC,” said Elise McGovern, Soriano’s campaign manager.