The Hunterdon County Democratic Committee hosted a CD7 Candidate Forum on Sunday January 5th to a maximum capacity audience of 300 attendees at the Stangl Factory in Flemington, NJ. All seven declared Candidates were on hand to answer questions asked by Moderator, Marianne Rampulla, who is Vice President of the Raritan Township Democratic Club (RTDC). HCDC Chairwoman Arlene Perez kicked off the event by welcoming everyone and thanking them for venturing out on a very cold winter day. Karen Becker, who is the RTDC Secretary and serves on the NJ State Democratic Committee reviewed the format for the forum and provided some election details regarding the history of the 7th Congressional sighting that the GOP has held this seat since 1981.
While no questions were asked directly by the audience, many of the questions asked were offered up prior to the event to anyone who wished to submit one. This included the Hunterdon County Young Democrats. HCYD President Austin Ritter asked the candidates 2 questions while Emily Afifi and Almas Thaha served as time keepers for the event.
What began on a rather small scale with the Raritan Township Democratic Club planning to host the event, it became apparent early on that "they were gonna need a bigger boat." Joyce Santos and Karen Becker attended a Dec 6th event in Basking Ridge in which BlueWaveNJ, NJ7 Forward, ATNJ and We the People NJ-07 hosted a Forum for the CD7 Candidates. Upon going there, Joyce & Karen and the RTDC reached out to Chairwoman Perez and before long many of the Municipal Chairs and County Committee Groups were on board and serving as volunteers. There was no need to reinvent the wheel. The format used by the HCDC was set up the same as the activist groups, but the questions asked were more policy oriented.
If you were unable to attend the event, Dorothy Dawood did an awesome job video taping the Forum and you can view in on YouTube using the following link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAc3vm-mr1E&feature=youtu.be
For information about the CD7 Candidates, visit our candidates page on this website by going to www.hcdems.com/cd7 congressional candidates - 2018
Our congressional candidates pictured above from the left are: David Pringle, Goutam Jois, Linda Weber, Lisa Mandleblatt, Marc Lane (surrogate for Peter Jacob), Scott Salmon and Tom Malinowski.