The CD7 Race for Congress continues to spark interest throughout the District. The first bit of excitement came on March 7th when Union County was scheduled to hold their Convention to endorse a candidate. That never happened because we got hit with a Nor'Easter and Mother Nature decided to blanket New Jersey with lots of snow forcing all of us in CD7 to continue to hold our breath until the Convention could be rescheduled. On March 11th, under better weather conditions, Tom Malinowski won the endorsement at the rescheduled Union County Convention, which tightened his lead throughout the district. There are 13 Municipal Chairs in Union and for a candidate to come out on top, 7 votes would be needed. Malinowski got the 7 votes, with Linda Weber receiving 6. None of the other candidates received a vote.
There was so much suspense leading up to the Union County Convention and both candidates knew it was going to be a very tight race. Weber seemed to be favored since she hails from Union County. However, Malinowski had just won the endorsements in Hunterdon, Warren and Morris Counties. But then came the drama on March 6th, the night before the Nor'Easter. A negative - and false- campaign ad against Malinowski that was advertised on a Facebook Ad by the Weber for Congress team may have backfired. On December 6, 2017 the candidates who had filed at that time (Jacob, Jois, Malinowski, Mandleblatt, Salmon & Weber) had pledged publicly to stay positive and not make defamatory remarks about a fellow candidate. The defamatory content of the ad, the fact Weber broke that promise and the momentum Malinowski has been building within the party and through his campaign contributions, may very well have been the perfect storm that led to his victory at the Union County Convention.
12/6/17 - The candidates pledge to run a campaign free from defamatory remarks at the Basking Ridge Forum.
So the excitement continues with Somerset and Essex county, since Linda Weber was endorsed there. However, after losing the Union County endorsement, on March 14th Weber suspended her campaign, pledging to "continue to work hard to flip the 7th District and to elect more Democrats." We will have to wait to see what happens in Somerset and Essex Counties where Weber was endorsed. Check back soon for an update.
Malinowski also gained top billing on InsiderNJ's weekly list of "Who's Up" on it's March 15th publication. Here's what InsiderNJ had to say....
Dogged by residency issues, the CD7 candidate this week nonetheless scored a critical 7-6 victory for the Union County Democratic Committee line, effectively eliminating rival Linda Weber from the contest. Although a devilishly energized U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7) was telling people at the Somerville St. Patrick’s Day Parade that his preferred general election opponent is Malinowski, a victory by Democrat Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania’s 18th District sent a shudder of worry through NJ Republicans.
Update: March 28, 2018 Somerset County Democrats overwhelmingly endorsed Tom Malinowski at the "re-do" convention held after Linda Weber dropped out of the race (see above). Malinowski has also been endorsed by Essex County who had originally thrown their support behind Weber. Malinowski has now been endorsed by all of the counties representing the 7th Congressional District and will appear on the ballot in the June 5th Primary under the Regular Democratic Party. Congratulations Tom!