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Tom Malinowski

Some Hunterdon Dems want party to unite behind Malinowski

By David Wildstein

A group of 22 Democratic officials from Leonard Lance’s home county of Hunterdon has written to party leaders in Warren Union and Morris with a call to unite the party behind Tom Malinowski for the Democratic congressional nomination.  Malinowski, a former Assistant U.S. Secretary of State under President Obama, won the Hunterdon Democratic convention three days ago by a wide margin.

Among the signers were Clinton Mayor Janice Kovach, Democratic State Committeewoman Karen Becker and seven Democratic municipal chairs.

“As elected officials and democratic committee members in Hunterdon County we have a unique vantage point from which to understand Leonard Lance,” the letter said. “We here in Hunterdon know Lance well. We know him because we see him at our restaurants, our parks, and our community events. Leonard Lance is from our county. He is friends with our neighbors.  We made an informed decision based on what we know about the candidates, and maybe more importantly, what we know about Leonard Lance.”

The letter said that “winning this seat could be the difference between taking back the House and spending another two years with a Congressman who does not represent us or our values, and little to no buffer between our communities and Donald Trump.”

One of the gripes some Democrats have about Malinowski is that he just recently moved into the 7th district, and the letter seeks to address some of those issues.

“Tom was raised in New Jersey and left to work in public service for his country and for disenfranchised people around the world. He returned home to where his mother still resides, to where he played baseball and went to movies as a teenager,” the letter said.

Malinowski was born in Poland and grew up in Princeton.  His stepfather was Blair Clark, who managed Eugene McCarthy’s 1968 presidential campaign, and his aunt was Anne Martindell, who upset State Sen. Bill Schluter in 1973 in a district that included parts of Hunterdon and Morris counties.

“Tom has a public track record of fighting for women’s issues both nationally and internationally. He continues to receive endorsements from women throughout the district and will continue to fight for women as our Congressman,” the party leaders said.  “Fundraising is crucial given that this race is estimated to cost between $4–7 million, and it will be incumbent upon the nominee to be able to raise a significant portion of that money. He has promised not only to raise the money needed but to do it without accepting corporate PAC money.”

The letter makes one factual mistake.  Malinowski is not the leading fundraiser in the Democratic primary.  That spot is taken by Lisa Mandelblatt, who has self-funded much of her campaign so far.

Besides Becker and Kovach, the signers are: Marianne Rampulla, Executive Committee, HCDC; Charles Daniel, Mayor, Califon Borough;

Megan Johnson, Councilwoman Town of Clinton; Rielly Karsh, Councilwoman Town of Clinton; Lois Zarish, Municipal Chair, Raritan Township, Executive Committee, HCDC; Elizabeth Colacino, Municipal Chair, Bethlehem Township; Gwenna Cook, Municipal Chair, Alexandria Township; Mary Anne Cowen, Municipal Chair, Holland Township; Lauren Grober, Municipal Chair, Union Township; Joyce Leftly, Municipal Chair, Lebanon Township; Mary Ruffine, Municipal Chair, Tewksbury Township; Sharon Jung, Tewksbury Township County Committee;
Kelly Brakewood, Tewksbury Township County Committee; William Simon, Ph.D., Tewksbury Township County Committee; Cathy Lenski, Tewksbury Township County Committee; Steve Robinson, Tewksbury Township County Committee; Liza Darmstadt, Tewksbury Township County Committee; Christina Russoniello, Vice Chair, Union Township; Yvonne Shepard, Franklin Township County Committee; Marlene Miller, Holland Township County Committee; Town of Clinton Democratic Committee; and he Union Township County Committee.
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