Forum just started. Livestream here.
Democratic Candidate Forum for New Jersey 7th Congressional District
TONIGHT – Doors open 6:30. Event begins promptly at 7:00
Please use the Auditorium Entrance, located near the flagpole
Of the 6 counties that comprise the DCCC-targeted 7th congressional district now repped by Republican Leonard Lance, Essex County’s Democratic chair LeRoy Jones gave the line to Linda Weber without a convention, and Somerset County’s chair Peg Schaffer awarded Weber the line on a party chairs vote. The first time there was an actual convention of Democratic county committee members was in Hunterdon last weekend, and despite Chair Arlene Perez campaigning for Weber, Tom Malinowski won that contest by a wide margin.
Of remaining counties – Morris hasn’t decided a process or date yet, Warren has a convention Saturday (which will allow votes from every county committee person, including those in Rep. Josh Gottheimer’s district – which is most of Warren County). And Union County will award the line on a municipal chairs vote of the 13 towns in CD7, but that vote date hasn’t been set. Tonight is the first candidate forum in Union County, Weber’s home county, sponsored by the activist groups whose logos you see above.
The stakes are highest for Weber here after losing big in Hunterdon, the most (small-d) democratic vote of the rushed-process pre-primary scramble in the party, and after raising just $89k in the last FEC reporting period. They’re ramped up for Malinowski, too, after his Hunterdon win. Despite his late entrance into the race, he has raised the most, then Mandelblatt (who despite loaning hundreds of thousands to her campaign, got zero votes in Hunterdon), then Linda Weber,. But Weber’s fundraising appears to be weakening; she’s already burned through much of what she raised, and only raised $89k last quarter (compared to, for example, third-placer Goutam Jois ** raising more than double that in the quarter, coming in second behind Malinowski’s haul). Still, she is the home-county favorite in Union, which prizes home-county residency. There won’t be a party endorsement vote after tonight’s forum.
The fundraising numbers look like this:
Malinowski – $528k raised ($528k last quarter), $81k spent ($81k last quarter), $446k COH
Mandelblatt – $659k raised ($79k last quarter), $241k spent ($97k last quarter), $414k COH
Weber – $314k raised ($89k last quarter), $172k spent ($106,663k last quarter), $132k COH
Jois – $282k raised ($188k last quarter), $30k spent ($30k last quarter), $259k COH **
Salmon – $95k raised ($11k last quarter), $42k spent ($19k last quarter), $50k COH
Jacob – $85k raised ($24k last quarter), $88k spent ($15k last quarter), $27k COH – COH inflated from 2016 campaign
Pringle – no information available
Now all the candidates turn to Union, where there’s high drama over whether Nick Scutari or Colleen Mahr will lead Union now that Chair Jerry Green is stepping down. Doors open 6:30pm tonight.
** Note: The Goutam Jois campaign is being run by a member of my household