Home>Articles>Collingswood progressives seeking to oust incumbent commissioners

From left, Collingswood Educational Advocacy Group vice president Jen Rossi, Collingswood County Committeeman Bill Johnson and Collingswood Democratic Municipal Chairwoman Kate Delaney. (Photo: Courtesy of Collingswood Together)

Collingswood progressives seeking to oust incumbent commissioners

Delany, Johnson, Rossi seek to push progressive advantage after county committee wins in 2019

By Nikita Biryukov, December 10 2020 5:40 pm

Looking to push their advantage in Collingswood, three progressives will challenge incumbents for seats on the borough’s Board of Commissioners there.

Collingswood Democratic Municipal Chairwoman Kate Delany, who won her post alongside fifteen other progressive county committee candidates in last year’s primaries, will run for a seat on the board alongside county committeeman Bill Johnson and Collingswood Educational Advocacy Group vice president Jen Rossi.

“The three of us have been really involved in local politics and community service, and we see a lot of potential in our town,” Delany told the New Jersey Globe. “We also see a lot of areas for growth.”

The three progressives will face incumbent Commissioners Jim Maley and Rob Lewandowski, who announced their intent to seek another term Monday. Commissioner Joan Leonard, who has held her seat for nearly 24 years, is not seeking re-election.

The incumbents are still seeking someone to fill her seat.

The progressive challengers want to open up the borough’s government, cut down on Collingswood’s use of tax abatements and create a citizen advisory board, among other things.

“A quarter of our town lives in high-rise apartments that are known for doing things like not turning on the heat in the middle of the winter,” Delany said. “They also have a tax abatement, so we want to make sure we’re doing code enforcements to ensure that our renters in town are protected”

The non-partisan election in the Camden County town of about 14,000 is likely to draw outsized attention.

The 16 county committee victories the progressives saw in Collingswood last year were the only successes in their broad attempt to tear control of the Camden County Democratic Committee away from South Jersey Democrats and power broker George Norcross.

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