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State Sen. Vin Gopal. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Gopal: Voters sent a message that can’t be ignored

By State Senator Vin Gopal, November 23 2021 9:44 am

OPINION

While the Democratic Party lost over 100 local seats statewide on Election Day, thanks to an incredible team, we won our re-election to the State Senate by over 2,600 votes. In the face of a massive Red Wave, this win is a testament to the hard work of so many volunteers, staff members and supporters – including more than 2,000 unique donors, many of them giving $25 or $50 donations to our campaign.

The top of our ticket lost the district by roughly 2,500 votes and we won by 2,600 votes – therefore we crossed over 5,000 votes in our election for an incredible coalition of supporters against a massive Red Wave – a testament to everyone’s support. Democrats saying “we won” is not a win. That is like a me saying I won Asbury Park by 10 votes so it must be a win – New Jersey has over a million more Democrats – anything less than comfortable wins across the board, similar to 4 years ago, should be getting Democrats to question if their message is effective.

We won key swing towns such as Neptune City, Interlaken, Ocean Township and Tinton Falls – nearly broke even in Eatontown – we did that even though the Republican top of the ticket comfortably won all of those towns.

I am a proud Monmouth County Democrat who has fought for healthcare, housing, and economic and educational opportunities for our most vulnerable New Jersey residents. I am a prime sponsor of the Reproductive Freedom Act and have championed important LGBTQ equality legislation. I am the prime sponsor of homegrow legislation here in NJ and have introduced a bill to modify the definition of “impact zones” in “New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act” to include Asbury Park in effort to truly end the war on drugs. I have worked hard to expand telemedicine and mental health funding throughout New Jersey. I have worked hard on legislation to combat climate change, pushed for background checks on gun purchases and have worked tirelessly to protect our shoreline. I have also worked time and time again to stand up against discrimination of all kinds. I believe in a Democratic Party that fights to protect our most vulnerable residents, especially our working class families, veterans, union members and seniors.

I am also a Democrat who believes in civility and bringing people together instead of dividing them, has fought for small-businesses over corporations, has championed numerous bills on consolidation and shared services in order to try to lower taxes, proudly supports our law enforcement and first responders and believes that government needs to provide good, quality services for our residents. I have stood up time and time to my party when I felt they have been wrong, such as trying to put a shore rental tax on our residents.

The voters of Monmouth County and across the state sent the Democratic Party a message on Tuesday – one that cannot be ignored…and it showed in our election results in our race. We need to redouble our efforts to support small businesses over large corporations, and to push forward policies that make New Jersey more affordable for small-businesses and residents alike. We need to continue to offer quality education while at the same time working to lower taxes and lift all families up. State and local governments should be involved to help our residents – not create more barriers and red tape for them.

Voters couldn’t have been clearer on election night. And I want you to know that I hear you loud and clear.

It is an honor to represent the 11th Legislative District in the State Senate, and I look forward to working with the residents of this district – regardless of whether you supported me or my opponent – regardless of your political party affiliation – to push for Monmouth County and New Jersey to be a more affordable place to live and raise a family.

Democrat Vin Gopal represents New Jersey’s 11th Legislative District in the State Senate, where he is Senate Majority Conference Leader and chairman of the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.

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