One thing that’s very important to me is stopping the PennEast Pipeline. I will do anything I can as a Freeholder to stop this. And that includes laying down in the road. – Hunterdon Freeholder Candidate Paige Livingston
Yeah, that’s right. That straight talk, those fighting words, came from a Democrat running for Freeholder in a county where no Dem has won in decades. And I’d like to see her be the first.
Most years, the Democrats that run for Freeholder in Hunterdon County are sacrificial lambs. That’s not their fault; there hasn’t been a Dem running this county in years. Our races here are uphill, and our candidates – good people all – don’t get many resources from the party. And in turn, they aren’t really expected to rock this crimson red, absolutely beautiful corner of the Garden State.
That changes this year. Paige Livingston, like a lot of people we know, woke up Wednesday morning, November 9th, horrified and determined to do … something. She chose to run for office – here, where that is hard.
Sometimes candidates are so good that they change the air around them; that is, they make the race better because they’re unafraid of it, and they make the party they belong to better than it was – just to keep up. That’s what’s going on here.
But Paige isn’t just a Democrat. Unlike most of the party people, she – the single mother of 4 teens – also shows up at Progressive Hunterdon Democrats, and at the Hunterdon Anti-Racism Coalition. She’s everywhere. There are a lot of good people running here right now – and that’s due not just to a growing county party, but also to a massive, vibrant influx of dedicated, intelligent activists. **. Many of the activists here are brand new at what they’re doing – but that’s fine; they’re getting it right. And most of them are women.
Two of them are my old friend Christina Russoniello and my new friend Lauren Grober, organizers of the Union Twp. Dems. Independent. Locally-focused. Last night, I got to sit in on a meeting at Lauren’s house; her living room filled with people – mostly women – and every surface loaded with snacks, pies and wine. Seriously energizing, especially considering how Republican this place is. CD7 candidate Lisa Mandelblatt was there (an early member of the group despite the fact she lives an hour away). She and Christine Lui Chen spoke, along with Paige. Christine is running the toughest Democratic state senate campaign LD23 has ever seen. It’s not even my district, but I’m very proud. Christine is the rare challenger who could walk into the Statehouse right now and legislate effectively. Right. now. She’s a scientist and used to focusing on facts and not impressions of facts. Her running mate, Laura Shaw, is similarly strong, as is the third member of their team, Charles Boddy (maybe the best off-the-cuff speaker I’ve seen ever).
Yeah. In Hunterdon. (And with LD23, in Warren County, too).
** Some of the municipal candidates came from a thing Progressive Hunterdon Democrats and ally activists started called Get In the Game, which encouraged some great people to run in municipal races the county party had left unchallenged.