Everyone has an opinion about why Ellen Karcher lost her 12th District race, and I have mine too. Ellen Karcher's campaign went too negative, too early. An incumbent, Mrs. Karcher should have spent more time letting people know what she had done in office, rather than harp on various negative things about her opponent, Ms. Beck.
When incumbents run, they generally run on their record and try -- as hard as they can -- not to acknowledge their opponent. It is pretty much up to the challenger to demonstrate a need for change. Instead, Mrs. Karcher fell back on the tactics of her former campaign, when she had no legislative record, and was on the warpath over former Sen. John O. Bennett (who was eventually cleared of any allegations thrown on him, according to the U.S. attorney). This year, people want to know how elected officials were going to lower their taxes, not petty personal issues (e.g. parking tickets).
Mrs. Karcher had the infamous Christmas Tree Scandal, which really goes back to taxation -- and not paying all the taxes she might if she weren't a 'part-time Christmas tree farmer.' While in office, frankly, some of Mrs. Karcher's initiatives were puzzling. With restaurant districts in two towns within her district, Freehold and Red Bank, why would she push some trans fat issue, thereby ensuring business owners could face more government interference and not less? The preoccupation with bear hunting was a question too.
People need real tax relief these days, and not fluff. There are plenty of ultra-liberal, vegan-obsessed legislative districts in this country -- and Monmouth County doesn't happen to have any of them. People here want to talk about how Trenton is going to lower their taxes, in my opinion, and that would have been a better public discourse. And $4 million in muck-raking? That has nothing to do with lowering anyone's taxes at all.