Getting women elected in Middlesex

We are starting to work in one of the bluest of the blue counties, Middlesex, to get the number of women in elected office to 30%, up from the current 19%, in three years.  Our campaign is called Thirty in Three. 

We are still in the process of working on what women voters and what county committee people and municipal/county chairs can do. Besides the good suggestions of running for office and committee seats as well as advocating for open primaries (from Dana Wefer’s OpEd), I would add, writing letters to the editor, pressuring the county committee to recruit, train and support women candidates. 

In a meeting with our ‘acting’ county chair at the early stages of our campaign, he acknowledged that women and minorities are electing democrats in NJ.  As Dana implied, the thinking has to change on getting better representation in the party itself.  A quote I like is: 

“Women have the right as citizens to equal representation. As expressed at the Beijing ‘Platform for Action’ of 1995, a second concept of equality, beyond ‘equal opportunity,’ is gaining increasing relevance and support:  the notion of “equality of result”. The argument is that real equal opportunity does not exist just because formal barriers are removed.

Adapted from International IDEA [Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance]

In the Middlesex/Mercer/Monmouth area, we are also supporting 2 great women candidates for the US House this year, which I’m sure everyone reading these posts knows about:  in the 4th, Carol Gay and in the 7th, Linda Stender.  We were out canvassing today. 

Please join us to get a woman into the House from NJ and to make Nancy Pelosi leader of the House!

THIS WEEK’S EVIL VOTE by Ferguson, Garrett, LoBiondo, Saxton

In yesterday’s U.S. House vote to try to ban marriage for gay couples in the U.S. Constitution, Congress members Mike Ferguson, Scott Garrett, Frank LoBiondo and Jim Saxton voted “yes” for the ban.  To his credit, Rodney Frelinghuysen voted “no,” the lone Republican in the NJ Congressional delegation to vote “no.”  All the Democrats in the delegation correctly voted “no.” The measure failed in the full House, whose vote was symbolic this session anyway, given that the U.S. Senate voted the measure down a few weeks ago.

Carol Gay in the running for a major campaign infusion!

Gov. Mark Warner’s PAC, Forward Together is giving a $5,ooo campaign contribution to the top-5 vote-getters on his PAC’s website which noted the following:

The 2006 elections will be an opportunity for Democrats. For the first time in many years, Democrats have a strong chance to win majorities in both houses of Congress. Forward Together PAC has already contributed to more than 50 campaigns in more than 30 states. Now we are opening up the process.

You can help us choose the next group of candidates we’ll support. We are looking for fresh faces with fresh ideas – and for solutions-oriented Democrats with a focus on the future – candidates who will help us change the political map. Which candidates are you supporting?

Our very own Carol Gay is a good bet to score the prize as she easily moved into the second round of voting today! But she can use our help getting the 5K.  Can Blue Jersey readers please show Carol some love and ensure Carol gets the cash?

A vote for NJ-4 is a vote for the hometeam.  And likewise a win in NJ-4 would be huge for the state and the nation.  So go vote for Carol now! (Please!)

Incidently, the candiate who turns out he most votes overall gets a fundraiser hosted by Governor Warner himself.  Presumably that would make 5,ooo bucks look like chump change.

Vote for House candidates to get support from Warner

Gov. Warner’s Forward Together PAC is running a contest to give $5K to 10 candidates, and he will do a fundraiser for the winner. You have to sign up on the website to vote but can decline emails.  The first round is through June 18th.  I heard about it through Carol Gay, and I gave her my vote.  She’s a great candidate who could use the cash.  Other challengers from around the state are on the list, too. The candidates are divided into East and West, and I have to say I favor McNerney from CA-11, since Pombo is the creep that is trying to undo the endangered species act, but Nick Lampson in Delay’s district has to be a favorite too.   If anyone knows about non-NJ candidates, I’d be interested.

And How Was YOUR Day?

Wearing a bright yellow button saying UNION YES – WAR NO, Carol Gay stepped to the podium at a Candidate Forum in Beechwood last night to make her first speech as a candidate for United States Congress. Gulp.

Yeah, well. You might have a bemused look on your face too if you just found out you were running for Congress 8 hours ago. She handled herself just fine.

Gay is challenging the mighty Chris Smith in the 4th CD, who’s been there so long he’s got his name scratched into the door (I jest of course, he was sworn in in 1981 at just 27). The 4th spans Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth, and Ocean counties.

Gary Schiavone OUT in NJ-04

I just recieved an e-mail from Gary Schiavone, the Democratic nominee to take on Congressman Chris Smith in NJ-04. In it, he says the following:

“I am writing to everyone concerned to announce that I have reconsidered my run for Congress, and I will not be running for the United States Congress this year, due to conflict with my current employment and The Hatch Act (5 U.S.C. 1502-1508) which restricts the political activity of individuals principally employed by state, county, or municipal executive agencies in connection with programs financed in whole or in part by loans or grants made by the United States or a federal agency. Under this law, I cannot accept or actively seek this public office, and I am officially declaring myself not a candidate for this position (U.S. Congressman) or for any public office, so as not to be in conflict with The Hatch Act.  I am asking all concerned who have assisted me in the planning, not to participate on my behalf in any activities directed toward me seeking any ele cted office. 

Thank you once again, Gary Schiavone”

Meet the Candidates

This is the most recent listing of candidates that have filed petitions for federal office. The first candidate listed in each category is the incumbent. The number after their names indicates the number of petition signatures submitted, and I also included the slogans of some of the candidates running without the party endorsement.

US Senate:
    Bob Menendez (D) 8029
    James D. Kelly Jr (D) 1300
    Thomas H. Kean Jr. (R) 4202
    John P. Ginty (R) 1742

House Districts
1:  Rob Andrews (D)

2:  Frank LoBiondo (R) 804
    Viola Thomas-Hughes (D) 298
    Henry David Marcus (D) 207 "Change the Course!"

3:  Jim Saxton (R) 949
    Richard Sexton (D) 293

4:  Chris Smith (R) 675
    Gary Schiavone (D) 310

5:  Scott Garrett (R) 513
    Michael Cino (R) 300
    Paul Aronsohn (D) 495
    Camille M. Abate (D) 427 "A New Spine For Congress"

6:  Frank Pallone Jr (D) 310
    Leigh-Ann Bellew (R) 278

7:  Mike Ferguson (R) 896
    Linda Stender (D) 532

8:  Bill Pascrell (D) 4301
    Jose Sandivol (R) 407

9:  Steve Rothman (D) 1020
    Vincent Micco (R) 321

10: Donald Payne (D) 1244
    Deshon Porter (D) 211

11: Rodney Frelinghuysen (R) 699
    Tom Wyka (D) 332

12: Rush Holt (D) 1216
    Joseph Sinagra (R) 225

13: Special election for unexpired term
    Albio Sires (D) 530
    James Geron (D) 268

13: For full term
    Albio Sires (D) 3229
    Joseph Vas (D) 594
    John Guarini (R) 255

Every NJ Congressional District Will Be Challenged

Update 3 (A big one, so I’m posting it up top): There WILL be two Democratic challengers to Frank LoBiondo in NJ-2. Fairfield Township councilwoman Viola Thomas-Hughes and Henry David Marcus will compete in the primary. This now means that every Republican House member in New Jersey will face a challenger in November.

According to the Division of Elections, Gary Schiavone has filed to challenge Chris Smith in the 4th Congressional district. With about two hours left until the filing deadline, no Democrat has filed in the 2nd yet to challenge LoBiondo.

The GOP has failed to file challenges to Rob Andrews (NJ-1) and Donald Payne (NJ-10).

Update 1: Donald Payne (NJ-10) will have a challenger in the primary, and Michael Cino has just filed to challenge Garrett in the primary. Assemblywoman Oadline Truitt (D) from the 28th legislative district will face a primary challenge.

Update 2: (via politicsnj)

Joe Vas filed petitions to run for the full 2-year term in the 13th district, but not for the Special Election.

John Ginty filed petitions to seek the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate today.  Ginty filed with 1,742 signatures.

James Kelly, a resident of a group home for the mentally disabled , filed as a U.S. Senate candidate in the primary against Bob Menendez.

UPDATE: Smith (NJ-4) to Get a Serious Challenger

We’re hearing that there is a candidate from the 4th district hailing from Ocean County that is willing to commit “significant” personal resources to challenge Congressman Chris Smith.

This would be a major change whereas in recent years Democrats put up only a nominal fight in the 4th. The candidate may be unveiled as early as Saturday at the Mercer County Convention.

UPDATE: The candidate’s name is Gary Schiavone, who on Sunday was endorsed by the Ocean County Democratic County Committee. Schiavone works at the Paratransit Division of NYC Transit.

Let’s Get Some Candidates!

The Republicans are filling in their Congressional races:

Vincent Micco, a 34-year-old Army veteran who served in Iraq, will formally announce today that he will seek the Republican nomination for Congress against Steven Rothman in the ninth district. Micco, a banker and the father of four, served in Iraq in 2003 and 2003. Rothman, a five-term Democrat, supports a rapid withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

We still have to find someone to run against Rep. Frank Lobiondo (NJ2) and Rep. Chris Smith (NJ4) before April 10.  That’s just two weeks away, folks!

If no one has filed and you live in one of these districts, please consider gathering signatures of registered Democrats on candidate forms so that a late-comer has your help.  Or, if all else fails, you can put your own name down and hold the spot in case someone shows up later.