Republicans divided over political ad

ESSEX COUNTY - A political advertisement that was published in Denton Publications newspapers last week is generating increased discord between some Essex County Republicans.

The half-page advertisement provides a list of "facts" as to why Essex County Republicans chose to endorse Clinton County Assistant District Attorney Kristy Sprague over current Essex County District Attorney Julie Garcia.

Garcia, who is running against Sprague in the Sept. 15 Republican primary election, said the advertisement is rife with lies and misrepresentations.

"I am disgusted that the leadership would use money donated by Republicans to slander an elected official," said Garcia. "The Essex County Republican Party leadership has a broken moral compass and will do anything to maintain power and control of our county. What little credibility they had left has been destroyed by this outrageous ad."

"The absence of a proven prosecutor has given Essex County one of the lowest conviction and highest dismissal rates in our history," the ad states.

"I have provided the Board of Supervisors and the media with the DCJS statistics with regard to this blatant lie," said Garcia. The figures she references show that, in most cases, conviction rates from 2006-2008 are actually slightly higher than they were during the term of former DA Ronald Briggs. They also follow a similar pattern to conviction rates in Clinton County.

The advertisement also claimed that Garcia has prosecuted very few cases personally at trial, and that the case of People v. Steven Baker was the only one where she "made more than a cameo appearance."

"This is another blatant lie," said Garcia, claiming she has transcripts from at least two other cases showing her active participation throughout the trial. "I have appeared on over 300 cases in Essex County Court. I have the defendant's name and the date of the appearance if you would like to have this information."

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