This Thanksgiving, New Jersey residents have much to be thankful for. In a time of crisis during Superstorm Sandy we banded together. Now in her aftermath, we continue to support one another.
As neighbors helped neighbors, we were reminded of the solid character of New Jerseyans. And as our elected officials acted calmly, pragmatically and creatively to aid us in our time of need, we were reminded just how important it is to elect the right people to serve.
Now more than ever, it’s clear that we need leaders at all levels of government who are looking out for the safety of our families. And here in New Jersey we are blessed to have just such statesmen looking out for us.
Like all of you, I am indeed thankful to our country for re-electing President Barack Obama, who has proven that he always puts the well-being of our nation’s citizens first. We are closer each day to being an America whose rhetoric matches its reality by being truly free, equal and just.
I am also thankful that New Jersey re-elected Bob Menendez, who will continue to work in the U.S. Senate alongside Frank Lautenberg. And I’m grateful that Congressmen Frank Pallone and Rush Holt will continue representing Middlesex County’s families in the House of Representatives.
I am thankful most of all for the fact that Middlesex County voters re-elected our local leaders, Surrogate Kevin J. Hoagland, Freeholder H. James Polos and Freeholder Ronald G. Rios. Together we will continue fighting for a stronger Middlesex County.
The past two weeks have been extremely difficult for New Jersey as we clean up from Superstorm Sandy and the Nor’easter. It also has been very arduous for County Election Board and clerk’s offices around the state as they oversaw an election that created unprecedented voting issues through the various directives from the Governor’s Office.
I am especially thankful for the hard work of Middlesex County Clerk Elaine Flynn and her staff, along with the Middlesex County Board of Elections, Administrator Jim Vokral, board commissioners and staff. They handled the unique situations in the aftermath of Sandy with true professionalism, making sure voters were able to cast their ballots in the face of extreme circumstances.
Election Day was an extremely difficult and stressful situation for county officials as they faced a massive amount of ballot requests and changing timelines to process the ballots. They did a yeoman’s job of ensuring voters received the proper voting instructions either by phone or via the internet through the County Clerk’s website.
In America, we take pride in going to polls each year. It is the way in which our voices are heard to determine who should govern us from the national to local level. I am proud to say that our Middlesex County election officials accomplished their mission despite extenuating circumstances. They are to be congratulated. And I am thankful to call them – and all of you – my friends.