Democratic Leader Speaks Out On Perth Amboy Election Format

by Perth Amboy Democratic Chairwoman Leslie Dominguez-Rodriguez

As Perth Amboy Democratic Chairwoman, I want to respond to statements made at the debate held at the Perth Amboy High School when mayoral candidates were asked if they would favor our town adopting a partisan form of government.

The non-partisan election was moved from May to November by the current administration and voters were not given a choice to hold primary elections among each party. Although Mayor Diaz said she was in favor of becoming partisan, she never proposed it. In fact, when Diaz sought to move city elections to November during her first two years, the proposal was rejected by the council, which was then controlled by Democrats. She only succeeded when former Republican Party chairman Kenneth Gonzalez and others joined the council two years ago.

I told the mayor and council members that moving the mayoral election without making it partisan was Gov. Christie’s agenda and warned of the consequences of this action, but it were ignored. Gov. Christie’s plans to divide and conquer the local Democratic Party and our public education system have both been fulfilled by our current administration. It amazes me that Mayor Diaz claims that she would now welcome Perth Amboy becoming partisan!

With all due respect, to the other candidates, Billy Delgado was the only candidate that really understood the seriousness of this question. He reminded the audience that had we adopted a partisan system, we would have held a primary election in June instead of now having six candidates for Mayor. We would have had this debate months ago, happy to stand by the Democratic nominee chosen by the people in June.

Today the Perth Amboy Democratic Organization has a DIVERSE team working hard to improve our community and changing to partisan city elections will be our priority for the year 2013. No matter where you came from or what your religion is, the Perth Amboy Democratic Organization will always welcome you if you share the fundamental American values of equality, freedom and opportunity.


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