In my part of New Jersey, we’re developing a tradition of electing scientists to make policy for us; statewide, federal. And now we have the chance to build on that, to re-elect our physicist-assemblyman Andrew Zwicker in LD-16 and send neuroscientist Christine Liu Chen and engineer Laura Shaw to the state senate and assembly from LD-23, where all our current reps are not only Republicans but hard-liners (Chen is running against Sen. Mike Doherty, climate change denier). Today, a national non-profit called 314action – which calls itself the Pro-Science Resistance (love that) and exists to elect more STEM candidates and advocate for more for evidence-based policy solutions to issues like climate change – endorsed 6 legislative candidates across the country. Three of them are from Jersey; Andrew Zwicker, our LD-16 Dem incumbent, and Christine Liu Chen and Laura Shaw from the outer edges of Central Jersey as they bleed into the more crimson north, in LD-23.
Central Jersey’s 12th congressional district sent physicist Rush Holt to Congress nine times; only the second research physicist ever elected to Congress and the first physicist elected as a Dem. He’d probably still be there, if he hadn’t decided to leave to run the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where he’s still advocating policy based on evidence over ideology, like scientists are trained to, and as he did in the House. And advocating the value of STEM education, like he has for years. Central Jersey also elected physicist Andrew Zwicker, the first Democrat ever elected in NJ’s 16th Legislative District, who Holt hired to run Princeton Plasma Physics Lab’s education program, with Holt was its assistant director.
Congratulations to Andrew Zwicker; his seat is targeted by the Republicans, who would prefer to replace him with a malleable and reliable Republican. Congratulations, too, to my two badass women friends Christine Liu Chen and Laura Shaw. They are running in a crimson red desert. But they’re running harder and better than any LD-23 Democrats we’ve ever witnessed. Truth. The response in LD-23 to both of them – and to running-mate Charles Boddy of NAACP has been off-the-charts. They are all ready to legislate on Day One, and I wish I could introduce you to all of them.These folks deserve your money, and your help if you can give it, no matter where you live. Our Legislature would be better with all of them in it.