Now that Facebook has become a larger community than the entire United States of America, the meaning of “friend” has taken on some new meanings. Sure, we count close friends and family among our friends. And, with Facebook, we count our extended family too, and long-lost high school pals, and college classmates, co-workers, like-minded politicians and activists. Even the occasional stranger with enough mutual friends can suddenly seem like a friend.
But, one definition of friend never changes. A friend is someone you can rely on to stand with you in good times and tough times alike. It is someone who listens to what you say, and cares. And it’s someone you can respect, and who you know will always respect you.
This weekend – which was otherwise marred by such tragic news affecting all of us – the progressive community had a great friend elected to the Assembly. Dan Benson, sworn in today, won a hotly contested county committee vote on Saturday morning to fill the seat vacated by Senator Linda Greenstein’s elevation to the upper chamber. (Credit PolitickerNJ for excellent real-time coverage of the voting. In the end, it was a great lesson in grassroots politics and tireless campaigning as 7 candidates were narrowed to 3, then 2, before Dan finally prevailed by a vote of 112 to 102.
Dan will be representing the 14th Legislative District that includes Cranbury, Hamilton, Jamesburg, Monroe, Plainsboro, South Brunswick and West Windsor. But, he’ll also be a progressive voice for everyone in New Jersey. A real friend to many issues we hold near and dear.
Congratulations Assemblyman Dan Benson – the progressive community has good reason to celebrate having one more friend in Trenton.