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Joseph Viso Jr. is a Republican candidate for the 36th District, but, as the New Jersey Globe notes, he has a lengthy criminal record that includes federal and state convictions on drug and gun charges and a history of financial issues.
For instance, in 2016, he pleaded guilty in a federal court to one count of conspiracy to distribute methylone and was sentenced to three years of probation.
“I was sick fighting cancer, and I got myself in trouble,” Viso told the Globe. “I had to sell my pain medications to pay for my health insurance.”
Viso was given two years of probation in 2019 after being charged in 2014 with possessing a sawed-off shotgun near a school, possessing a gun while committing a crime and multiple drug offenses.
“They raided my house and found a gun in my house,” he explained. “I live near a school.”
There was also the time in 2013 when he was charged with possession of heroin and served seven days in jail.
But those crimes aren’t as gross as the one he was charged with in 2009: smearing fecal matter on the doors of a children’s day care center in East Rutherford.
Viso had a dispute with the day care center, which was next to his business, and he told the Globe that day care employees “harassed my men every day. They had cars ticketed every time my men parked on a side street.”
At some point, he said, he decided to get even by smearing poop on the handles and locks of the child care facility.
After the investigating officer told Viso there was video evidence of his poop-smearing, he apologized and said, “I’m not proud of what I did.”
He told the Globe that he later cleaned up the dookie-stained doors.
“It was done before anyone got hurt,” he said. “I’m not going to defend it.”
Although Viso admitted it was wrong, he offered a bizarre excuse with echoes of Republicans this week blaming the Democratic Party for the ouster of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
“I was a young man. It was a horrible time, and I made a mistake,” Viso, 52, said. “Obama came into office the year before.”
That would make Viso about 39 at the time, an age when most people have learned not to smear poop.
Viso is running against two incumbents, neither of whom have any poop-smearing allegations on their record ― yet!