Bouyed by hundreds of enthusiastic supporters, Derek Armstead and James Moore launched the Democrats for Change campaign in Linden on Saturday.
LINDEN—Hundreds of progressive voters rallied Saturday around candidates running on the Column B Democrats for Change slate, as Councilman Derek Armstead kicked off his campaign for Mayor with former Councilman James Moore running for Council President.
Armstead beat back a primary challenge in 2008 when the regular political organization chose to endorse Monty Brooks, a school social worker, as retribution for the councilman’s independent voting record and efforts to reduce excessive City Hall salaries and property taxes.
Moore is returning to the campaign arena after 18 years as a private citizen because he says corruption and greed have engulfed most politicians in the area.
Running with Armstead and Moore are Peter Brown in the Third Ward, Rhashonna Cosby-Hurling in the Fifth Ward and Councilman John Sheehy in the Seventh Ward.
Voters broke into cheers as Armstead, speaking in a style reminiscent of his 2008 running mate Barack Obama, told them, “It you are tired of waiting for the world to change, help us change the world!”
“City Hall is broken,” said Moore. “Corruption, incompetence and complacency are the enemies of good government, so we intend to root them out and make sure taxpayers get their money’s worth again.”
Armstead and Moore both drew attention to politicians who have become out of touch with the needs of residents.
“When politicians are disconnected, Linden’s people are disrespected,” said Armstead. “That’s why we will always stay connected to our community.”
“The arrogance we see is a sure sign that those who currently hold power in Linden are out of touch with the severe problems facing our homeowners,” said Moore. “Somewhere along the way they forgot that they work for you, so they can justify their own greed by gobbling up double pensions, engaging in bribery and kickbacks, and fundamentally betraying the public trust.”
Sheehy told voters his independence on the council has not earned any love from political insiders, but it’s consistent with the promise he made when he campaigned for the office three years ago. “While some council members simply stand in the way of progress, I am proud to work to eliminate excessive high salaries for part time lawyers and fight to wipe out political deals that result in unfair benefits for corrupt insiders,” Sheehy said.
“You elected me, I work for you and you will always have my loyalty.”
Cosby-Hurling said she has learned some important lessons from her narrow 2007 defeat.
“While my reasons for running remain the same, I am going to work harder to connect with every voter and stick to a positive message about the kind of change Linden needs,” Cosby-Hurling said. “With Derek Armstead, Jimmy Moore and the entire Democrats for Change team working to restore integrity in government, I am confident we can score a dramatic victory in the June 8 Democratic primary election.”
Armstead said voters can learn more about the issues, sign up as volunteers or even make campaign contributions at his www.derekarmstead.com website.
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