Home>Campaigns>Republican Senate candidate praises Cunningham’s career but says she should step aside

Republican State Senate candidate Luis Soto. (Photo: Hudson County Republican Organization).

Republican Senate candidate praises Cunningham’s career but says she should step aside

Luis Soto objects to 31st district Senate seat being effectively vacant for a year and a half

By David Wildstein, February 23 2023 5:02 pm

Dealing with cognitive health issues, Senate President Pro-Tempore Sandra Cunningham (D-Jersey City) has not been in Trenton in nearly eight months, prompting a Republican who is seeking to replace her next year to call on Democrats to seek her resignation.

“Sandy Cunningham has been a good and dedicated public servant for over fifteen years.  We appreciate this, and we would like nothing more than for her to make a full recovery,” said Luis Soto, a business executive from Kearny.  “The Democrats are showing disrespect to Hudson County by not politely asking Senator Cunningham to step aside and allowing a new Senator who can fulfill the duties of the job to take office.”

Soto views the silence of Democrats on Cunningham’s extended absence to be hypocritical for a party “that claims to care about representation and democracy, keeping a Senate seat in limbo for potentially over a year and a half screams of abuse of power.”

Cunningham has not cast any votes since the legislature approved the state budget on June 29, 2022.  She has also not attended meetings of the Senate Higher Education Committee, which she chairs.

“We have serious issues with housing, transportation, education, and economics, which deserve a voice,” Soto said.  “It is taking the representation away from nearly a quarter-million people, most of whom are minorities.”

Soto wants the Hudson County Democratic leadership “to move forward on giving us real representation and someone I can hold accountable as a candidate in November.”

“If not, I ask that the voters really think about whether the Democratic Party cares about them,” he stated.

Cunningham is not expected to seek re-election this year.

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