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US. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Fifteen independents mount congressional bids

Libertarians run no one against Booker

By Nikita Biryukov, July 07 2020 7:49 pm

Fifteen candidates from 12 minor political parties have filed to run for New Jersey’s House and Senate seats.

Longtime environmental and social justice activist Madelyn Hoffman is running for U.S. Sen. Cory Booker’s (D-Newark) seat as the Green Party’s nominee, her second bid for Congress’s upper chamber since 2018, when she sought to oust Sen. Bob Menendez (D-North Bergen).

She faces Independents Veronica Fernandez, an insurance underwriter who decided to run for Senate after her family spent more than $91,000 on health care in three years, and Daniel Burke, a disciple of the LaRouche movement who is running to push the U.S. to cooperate with global powers and colonize Mars.

The Libertarian Party has forgone running a candidate against Booker, instead choosing to push its limited resources behind House candidates in the first, fourth, eighth and 10th districts.

The party is backing Jesse Ehrnstrom against Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) in the second district. He’ll also face independent Jenna Harvey, who is running under the slogan “Justice Mercy humility,” in the general election.

In the Fourth, Libertarians put up Michael Rufo, who ran a losing race for the seat in 2018. Independents Andrew Pachuta and Henry Schroeder are also seeking the seat Rep. Chris Smith (R-Hamilton) has held for nearly forty years.

Eighth-district Libertarian House candidate Dan Delaney faces no other independent challengers in his bid to take out Rep. Albio Sires’ solidly-Democratic seat. The same is true for John Mirrione, who the party chose to run against Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-Newark) in the 10th district.

Martin Weber is making an independent bid for the third district’s seat after failing to oust then-Rep. Tom MacArthur during a 2018 primary challenge. “Independent Constitutional Candidate” Robert Shapiro is also running there.

Independents Anthony Conti, of Washington, and Louis Vellucci, of Mahwah, are for Rep. Josh Gottheimer’s (D-Wyckoff) fifth-district seat.

Chris Auriemma, a U.S. Army veteran, is running in the ninth against Rep. Bill Pascrell.

A candidate not belonging to either of the two major political parties last won one of New Jersey’s congressional seats in 1854, when the Opposition Party held four of the state’s five seats.

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