Senate candidate Mark Quick tossed from bar

There have been some competing Facebook stories regarding what happened at the bar of the Marquis Room at the Lafayette House Wednesday evening.  What is certain is that self-declared Senate candidate Mark D. Quick ended up being asked to leave, after being warned several times about his foul and aggressive language by a female bar manager.

The incident happened while, in another part of the building, Senator Steve Oroho was conducting a workshop with local elected officials aimed at coming up with ideas on how to address problems of waste and inefficiency in transportation related construction.  The meeting was targeted by people who, frankly, appeared to want to disrupt it. 

So it was a good thing that it was kept private and professional, with nobody playing to the cameras, and nobody having to contend with screaming and cursing and threats of violence.  After all, Sussex County isn't Afghanistan.  Nor should it be.

Outside the meeting, about 20 members of the public had gathered to support "funding the TTF" (Transportation Trust Fund) or to oppose "the gas tax" (presumably A-12, which has nothing to do with Senator Oroho anyway).  Many of those who supported TTF funding worked on construction projects that had now stopped, so they in-effect, are laid-off from their jobs and not earning for their families.  Their opponents were led by former Green Party Assembly-candidate Ken Collins and his wife and supporters, plus former Reform Party Assembly-candidate Mark Quick and his fishing buddy Doug Thomas.

Political operative Bill Winkler stopped by the meeting but was informed that it was a closed session, where upon he went outside and found his friend Mark Quick hollering at the dozen or so members of the public who had shown up in support of funding the Transportation Trust Fund.  Mark was wearing a Space-Phoebus for Assembly tee-shirt, an act of commonality with Winkler, who managed successful political campaigns for both Republican Assemblyman Parker Space (in 2010, 2013, and 2015) and Assemblywoman Gail Phoebus (in 2012 and 2015).  Quick and Winkler travelled together to Atlantic City in February 2015 for Assemblyman Jon Bramnick's two-day statewide event.

Quick and Winkler had a chat.  Now as anyone who knows Quick knows, a "chat" with Mark Quick consists mainly of him talking very loudly in a kind of sustained rant.  From time to time, Quick will also mention how he wants to "shoot" or otherwise "kill" someone but, it must be added, when asked about this he insists that his use of these and similar words are simply metaphorical and part of his colorful charm.

As it was very hot outside in the sun, Winkler -- a somewhat fat, older man with a rapidly reddening bald pate -- suggested going to the public bar for a beer.  On the way in the pair said hello to Rob Jennings, reporter for the New Jersey Herald.  At the bar, they were joined by a friend of Winkler's who roasts coffee in his hometown of New Hope, Pennsylvania.  The two Pennsylvanians asked for Stella, while Quick opted for a powerful 7% beer aged in Jack Daniels whiskey kegs.

Quick announced that he was running for State Senate against Steve Oroho, and that he had the support of Parker and Jill Space.  When Winkler said that was nonsense (Oroho, Space, and Phoebus share a legislative office and staff), Quick insisted that the state committeewoman and recent delegate to the national convention was a big supporter, along with many local elected officials.  To be fair, anyone familiar with Quick is all too familiar with these kinds of boasts.

After the second beer, Winkler suggested they eat, but Quick wasn't hungry.  By then the bar manager had told him to quiet down a couple times, at one point, playfully splashing water on them from a glass, with her fingers.  Doug Thomas had joined them, and the talk had turned to fishing and the superior taste of river caught cat fish to those farm-raised.  There was a brief argument between Quick and the coffee roaster about pulling cat fish out of the river near Yardley, which the coffee roaster advised against on account of it being down-river from the Lambertville sewage plant.  Quick even got into it with his fishing buddy, when Thomas and Winkler spoke highly of Steve Lonegan, and Quick strongly disagreed.

Then Kelly Ann Hart appeared, said hello, and Quick got very loud about Hart's cousin, Roseann Salinitri, president of a local Tea Party group.  Quick doesn't like Mrs. Salanitri very much and the same goes, apparently, for Ann Kievit, Hart's mother, the widow of the late Mayor of Hardyston.  Quick called the women in Hart's family, "fat asses" for some reason.  He started yelling and it escalated into contact, that could have been the result of Quick tumbling from his bar stool.  At this point the bar manager told him that he had to leave and Doug Thomas quickly took him outside.  In fairness to Quick, he was drinking strong beer, his body-weight is certainly not Winkler's, he should have eaten, alcohol diminishes the hearing (which in Quick's case isn't good in the first place), but he was certainly not at his best for losing control and for talking very rudely to a woman. 

Winkler and the coffee roaster finished their beers.  It was now after 8 PM, the workshop ended, so the two, with Hart went to the other end of the Lafayette House to find that the meeting was winding down.  The doors were now unmanned, so Winkler and the coffee roaster snuck in the back. 

The meeting broke up a few minutes later.  Time enough for Winkler and Andover Committeeman Jack Burke to engage in a bear hug and have their picture taken together for the benefit of mutual friend Tom Walsh.  They were joined by Lou Crescitelli, chief of staff for Assemblyman Space and Assemblywoman Phoebus, who was the reason for Winkler's visit in the first place.