Runyan says opponent should be ashamed of herself over “Frankenstorm” ad

A radio ad comparing U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan’s record to “Frankenstorm” has Runyan’s camp demanding an apology from Democratic opponent Shelley Adler

The ad, which ran on 101.5 radio in the hours leading up to the storm and continued even after Hurricane Sandy had wreaked unprecedented havoc on the state, begins with a voice talking about Sandy’s onslaught.  The ad then leads into an attack on Runyan’s Washington voting record.

Reached Wednesday, Adler campaign spokesman Michael Muller said the ad was not meant to compare Runyan to the massive storm, but rather to acknowledge the disaster before continuing the critique Adler has voiced throughout the campaign.

“The ad acknowledges what we are facing in the state and then delivers a message that is consistent with what we have been saying all along,” Muller said, adding that he does not believe it was in poor taste.” The ads are not on the air now.

But Runyan campaign spokesman Chris Russel said the ad was in poor taste in light of the damage and suffering the storm has caused up and down the state.

“Shelley Adler’s decision to run a negative radio ad comparing Congressman Runyan’s record to this devastating hurricane is beyond outrageous,” Russell said  “Mrs. Adler should be embarrassed; she should take the ad off the air immediately, and she should issue a public apology to the people of Ocean County for running possibly the most offensive political ad in recent memory.”

Muller said the ad has been taken down and only continued once the storm hit because he had trouble getting in touch with anyone to take it down.

The 3rd District has been a hotbed of campaign strife in recent years.  Two years ago, Shelley Adler’s husband, John Adler, who held the seat at the time, took fire for allegedly hiring a no-name candidate named Peter DeStefano to pose as a Tea Party-endorsed candidate in an attempt to siphon votes away from Runyan.

The alleged move was exposed by the Courier Post prior to the election, which Adler lost to Runyan by a close margin. 

"He’s obviously working very, very hard at it. I mean he’s traveling all over the country as chairman of the [Republican Governors Association] and I think at this point he has as good a chance or better than anybody else. His name is household word all across the country, and I think he would make a great president."
—former U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton (R-3), on Gov. Chris Christie