U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-12) made his case for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jon Corzine in front of a crowd Thursday at Drinking Liberally, a weekly, progressive event.
The meeting, held at The Annex on Nassau Street, was the largest yet for the recently formed organization.
Rep. Holt praised the members of the group for their already active involvement, but said they must do more to ensure Sen. Corzine’s victory in November’s election. He said people initially took for granted that Sen. Corzine would win, but now that his margin over Republican opponent Doug Forrester has narrowed, it’s time to get involved.
“He won’t win unless we do our part,” Rep. Holt told the crowd of more than 50 people. “I know I don’t need to tell you, because you’re out here, but you need to tell others.”
Rep. Holt praised Sen. Corzine’s commitment to a grassroots campaign and to his emphasis on involving individuals.
“If we don’t restore a sense of government by and of the people in the state, a victory on Election Day is pretty empty,” he said. “The reason I’m so excited about Jon Corzine is he gets that.”
Princeton University students and townspeople alike attended the event. The Princeton Drinking Liberally organization is one chapter of nearly 100 in the national club. It meets weekly at The Annex; its first meeting was Sept. 15.
State Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Princeton Borough) came to the event to meet with Rep. Holt and the local attendees. He said this was not his first Drinking Liberally event.
“This is a very important election,” Assemblyman Gusciora said. “It will control the direction of New Jersey the next four years. It’s very encouraging when you see the turnout.”
Juan Melli, a Princeton University graduate student and one of the chapter’s founders, said he was thrilled with the event. Though the organization typically holds unstructured discussions, he said Rep. Holt did an excellent job of addressing the crowd. Mr. Melli particularly praised his explanation of the campaign.
“To a lot of people, that was useful,” he said.
Rep. Holt remained after his brief address to talk with the attendees. During his speech, he asked audience members to talk to their friends and keep them involved.
“Lapsing into apathy, as too many Americans are doing, will give us the government we deserve,” he said.