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Somerset County Democratic Chairwoman Peg Schaffer.

Somerset Dem chair compares GOP freeholder to Donald Trump

Pat Walsh had blamed Gov. Phil Murphy for defeat of full-day kindergarten referendum in Hillsborough, Millstone

By David Wildstein, March 16 2019 6:48 pm

Somerset County Democratic chair Peg Schaffer is pushing back on Republican freeholder’s accusation that Gov. Phil Murphy is to blame for the rejection of referendum that would have funded full-day kindergarten in Hillsborough and Millstone.

“Like Donald Trump, Walsh wants to hide her record of raising taxes while cutting services behind attacks on immigrants,” Schaffer said.

Voters in Hillsborough and Millstone rejected the proposal Tuesday by 1,469 votes, a 59.5%-40.5% margin in a referendum that drew an unusually large 25% turnout.

“I was stunned to see Freeholder Pat Walsh’s statement on the Hillsborough school referendum that she opposes the state’s proposal to increase aid to Somerset County schools by eleven percent,” said Schaffer.  “School districts in twenty towns will see increases, including her home town of Green Brook, but Walsh chose to be negative and divisive instead of representing families throughout the county.”

Walsh said this week that the vote “was an overwhelming rebuke of Governor Murphy and his tax and spend policies that treat Somerset County taxpayers like an ATM to fund his out-of touch priorities, like millions of dollars for tuition aid and legal services to illegal immigrants, while cutting funding to school children in places like Hillsborough.”

“Even more egregious was Walsh’s attack on immigrants, blaming without evidence these hardworking families for the referendum being voted down,” said Schaffer.

Walsh is seeking re-election to a fifth term this fall.  If Democrat Melonie Marano can oust her, Democrats would take control of county government for the first time since 1965.

Walsh and Marano, both former mayors of Green Brook, have faced off before.  Walsh defeated Marano by a narrow 1,867-vote margin (51.5%-48.5%) in a 2007 race for freeholder.

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