11th District Race Includes Fascist and Christian Democrat
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ There’s a Fascist Party candidate on the 11th Congressional District ballot, and a Holocaust revisionist who calls himself a Christian Democrat. But the Democratic Party’s choice probably won’t be represented.
Daniel Tauriello, the Democrats’ expected candidate, was disqualified this week because he failed to file 200 valid signatures on his nominating petitions.
That means John L. Kucek, a Holocaust revisionist and former Populist Party candidate for senator and governor who was the only other candidate to file for the Democratic primary, will be the nominee unless he’s beaten by a write- in candidate in the June 7 primary. The filing deadline was April 14.
Democrats say they may urge voters to back incumbent Republican Dean Gallo rather than Kucek or the other fringe candidates, unless someone can mount a strong write-in campaign. Late Friday, former state Sen. Frank Herbert announced he would try.
″It’s embarrassing, but I think people understand that it’s just an unfortunate accident that we’ll work hard to rectify,″ said Tom Byrne, Democratic State Committee chairman. Byrne said the party would likely back Herbert in the primary.
Even so, Gallo would be favored to win re-election in the traditionally Republican district, centered on the wealthy Morris County suburbs 25 miles west of New York City.
At least six candidates are opposing him, including Stuart Bacha, running as a member of the Fascist Party, and Kucek, who said he decided to switch from the Populist Party to the Democrats and to call himself a Christian Democrat because ″I’m a Christian and a Democrat and I thought it sounded good.″
Kucek supported the 1988 presidential bid of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and questions ″the allegation that there was a deliberate extermination plot″ against Jews by Nazis in Germany during World War II.
″We did have a Holocaust in the United States, in Waco,″ he said, referring to the 79 people killed when the FBI stormed the Branch Davidian cult’s compound there last year.
Byrne said the party was talking to several possible candidates for a write-in campaign but that if the choice was between Kucek and Gallo, Democrats would have to back the Republican congressman.
Gallo said he welcomes votes from Republicans, independents and Democrats.
Tauriello said he failed to work as diligently as he might have on his petitions because he believed he was the only Democratic candidate and that no one would challenge the 203 signatures he collected.
Tauriello was disqualified Tuesday from the primary race.
Tauriello said he planned to mount a write-in campaign. He ran unsuccessfully last year for the state Assembly and has never held public office.