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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!
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Tom Malinowski won the endorsement as the 7th Congressional District Candidate last night at the Morris County Democratic Committee Convention. This marks the 3rd endorsement for Malinowski. Hunterdon and Warren Counties had open conventions in which the County Committee members and Delegates voted. Malinowski won the nomination in both of those conventions.
The only remaining county to hold a convention to make their endorsement is Union County which is scheduled for March 7th. There are 5 counties in the CD7 District. Somerset and Essex Counties already held their conventions in which Linda Weber won the nomination. Both conventions were "closed", meaning only the Municipal Chairs were able to vote.
We may see a GOP primary race against Leonard Lance. Craig Heard, who ran an unsuccessful primary against Lance in 2016 is considering going up against him again. Heard has formed an exploratory committee to consider his chances against Lance in a primary. One thing Heard and CD7 Democrats have in common - Is that Lance has got to go!
Tom Malinowski is Endorsed at the Morris County Convention (2/27/18)
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The Hunterdon County Democratic Committee sponsored a Rally for Our Children in Flemington on the steps of the Hunterdon County Historic Courthouse on Saturday, February 24th, gathering a crowd of residents who are in support of sensible gun control. The speakers at the event all made a plea to end the senseless tragedies that have taken place in our schools and communities for the past two decades. We were reminded that on April 20, 1999 two teens went on a shooting spree in a Columbine High School, and little has been done to prevent this type of tragedy almost 20 years later.
Clinton Town Mayor, Janice Kovach, gave the opening remarks and welcomed everyone for attending and thanked the crowd for giving up their time on a Saturday morning for such an important cause. Featured speakers included Flemington resident, Chris Runion, who is a teacher in Montgomery Township. Mr. Runion talked about what it's like to participate in "lock down" drills and ended his speech by saying "Let us put away our trigger fingers and take out our ballot fingers, because our lives depend on it.”
NJ Assemblyman Roy Frieman and Tom Malinowski, the Hunterdon County endorsed Candidate for Congress (against Leonard Lance) also addressed the crowd. Both men talked about the need for sensible gun laws and pointed out that while NJ is one of the states with the best common sense gun laws, other states are in need of reform.
Carole Stiller, President of the NJ Brady Campaign and Million Mom March State Council talked about the lasting effects that students face after the trauma of being a surviving victim of a shooting spree and that it is something they will have to live with the rest of their lives.
But the most engaging moments on Saturday came from two Hunterdon Central Regional High School (HCRHS) students who moved the crowd with their plea for gun reform. Katie Conover, a Junior at HCRHS said "Children are often told they can change the world. And that's just what we are going to do." HCRHS Senior and President of the Hunterdon County Young Democrats, Austin Ritter, served as emcee for the rally. Austin's opening remarks included the reading an open letter from the parents of a young son that was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. It was a poignant and emotional moment.
Click here to watch a video of the Rally for our Children
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Scott Salmon announced earlier this week that he will be suspending his campaign for NJ Congressional District 7. In his statement, Mr. Salmon also announced that he is endorsing Tom Malinowski. Last week Lisa Mandleblatt suspended her campaign, also endorsing Malinowski.
In his statement Salmon said “I firmly believe that this campaign has shown that it is possible to have a politics free of cynicism, and that we can have representatives who are compassionate and will work tirelessly on our behalf. But we must demand that our leaders live up to this high standard, and if they are unwilling to do so, we must replace them. The people of the 7th Congressional District deserve nothing less."
In addition to Mandleblatt and Salmon endorsing Tom Malinowski, Morris County Democratic Chair Chip Robinson also gave his personal endorsement to Malinowski. Robinson said. “This endorsement is based upon several factors. Donald Trump and Paul Ryan’s Washington DC is a threat to the values that we hold dear. There is no more important thing for the Democratic party to do nationally then to win 24 seats in the house and take back the majority in order to start putting the brakes on the Trump and Ryan agenda. Tom gives us the best chance to actually win the seat. He is a moderate Democrat who has proven that he can rally support from unaffiliated and moderate republicans – he was introduced to the Senate at one point by John McCain. Tom’s district voted for Kim Guadagno and for Hillary Clinton, so it has shown itself to be a swing middle-of-the-road district."
The Morris County Democratic Convention is scheduled for February 27th.
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Lisa Mandleblatt has announced that she will no longer be running for Congress in CD7. The announcement was made today at the Union County Democratic Candidate Forum. Lisa has asked her supporters to get behind Tom Malinowski, who was endorsed this past Sunday at the Hunterdon County Democratic Committee Convention. Including Malinowski, there are now six remaining candidates in hot pursuit of going up against Leonard Lance in the November General Election.
Warren County will hold their Convention Saturday, February 10th. Union and Morris County Conventions have not yet taken place.
The HCDC would like to thank Lisa for her participation in the CD7 race and wish her the very best in her future endeavors.