Primary Election Endorsements

Shake Up The Gubernatorial Field

We endorsed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Troy Webster of East Orange in part because he is not seriously pursuing the nomination, and that is more honest than his hapless rival, Sen. Barbara Buono. We expect Buono to win the primary but voters should send her a message, demanding more work and better results.

Republican Gov. Chris Christie has been touring New Jersey with President Barack Obama, while state finances are nearly a billion dollars out of whack and his failed attempt to put a homosexual on the Supreme Court still irks the Tea Party, so we are as confident now as we were weeks ago when we endorsed Republican Seth Grossman. The South Jersey, Essex and Hudson Democrats backing Christie, along with mobbed up labor unions, suggests that the GOP Governor is awash in corruption.

His popularity is a fiction, carefully crafted in new media and heavy political spending. Voters cannot afford to embrace that fantasy because there are real problems in need of serious attention.

Re-Elect Lesniak

No matter what critics might say about Sen. Raymond J. Lesniak, Democrats would be crazy to select Wall Street banker Donna Obe on June 4.

The Roselle Board of Education President has failed to address any issues in her campaign, neglected invitations for face to face meetings with constituents and ignored questionnaires sent by this and other newspapers.

Instead, she has attacked the Senator’s campaign staff, embraced unjust mandatory prison policies that failed to eradicate crime and exaggerated the relevance of a shore house.

It is precisely the kinds of lies and character assassination employed by Obe’s reckless campaign that has driven good and honest people away from this nation’s government and political spheres.

Even if a case has been made against Lesniak, Democrats have no reason to elect Obe.

By contrast, Lesniak deserves credit for sticking to an upbeat and positive campaign that talks about his accomplishments, his agenda for the future and the aspirations of the people who live in Elizabeth, Union, Hillside and Roselle.

It took real courage for Lesniak to abolish the death penalty and change laws that subjected more people to prison for non-violent offenses. It took guts to challenge the gun lobby, to advocate civil rights progress, to shake up institutions dominated by Democrats and to forge alliances with competing interests in labor, environmental protection and business.

Lesniak has been able to bring back massive amounts of funding for schools, job creation and tax relief in Elizabeth, Union, Hillside and Roselle. He is one of the most influential leaders in the state and Democrats should re-elect Raymond J. Lesniak by voting B-2.

Re-Elect Scutari

Sen. Nicholas Scutari is being challenged by Former Freeholder Nancy Ward, who has utterly failed to wage a compelling campaign and ignored constituent inquiries. She may be nice but as a freeholder, Ward did nothing to distinguish herself from the other eight board members.

A lifelong Linden resident who worked his way up, Scutari was elected to the local Board of Education in 1993, elevated to the Union County Freeholder Board in 1996, and sent to the State Senate in 2003.

Scutari is chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee and he courageously sponsored New Jersey’s medical marijuana law.
A strong advocate for quality education; for having a fair, competent, and qualified Judiciary; and for the safety and well-being of children throughout the State of New Jersey, Eagle Scout Scutari’s legislative record reflects his priorities.

Democrats in Clark, Fanwood, Linden, Plainfield, Rahway, Scotch Plains, Winfield, Green Brook, North Plainfield, Dunellen and Middlesex should re-elect Nicholas Scutari.

Puschel For Sheriff
Williams, Reynolds & Cascone For Freeholder

After 36 years in office, voters should fire Sheriff Ralph Froehlich. We would have said to ‘retire’ him but Froehlich has been secretly collecting an $85,000 pension on top of his $146,000 salary since 1999.

Union County Police Lt. Richard Puschel is commander of the bomb squad and a former Linden councilman who has demonstrated the strength to maintain his political independence.

Democrats should elect Richard Puschel as Sheriff and support his Democrats for Change runningmates for freeholder, Jacqueline Williams, Janet Reynolds and Charles Cascone. Puschel, Williams, Reynolds and Cascone are running in Column D.

They face two sets of opponents that promise business as usual, the Column B ‘regular’ organization ticket and a Column C slate comprised of fundamentalist Christian conservatives who would feel more comfortable appealing to Republicans opposed to abortion and same-sex marriage.

The quasi-Republican Column C candidates call themselves “Real Democrats for Change” in the same vein that the Bush-era license for polluters was called the “Clear Skies Initiative.”

Sheehy, Donelson In Linden

Linden has two wards with contested local elections.

Ward 7 Councilman John D. Sheehy, Jr. deserves another term because he has been sincere, dedicated and hard-working. His challenger has a spotty voting record in school and primary elections, which suggests he has little interest in the community.

Ward 5 Councilwoman Rhashonna Cosby-Hurling has conducted herself poorly, and she should be denied a second term. Fortunately, school board member Manuel Donelson is a fine alternative.

Turnage, Leconte In Roselle

Roselle also has two wards with contested local elections.

Sylvia Turnage deserves support over Christine Dansereau in the race for Roselle Borough Council At Large. Turnage is more interested in the public than Dansereau, who voted to give herself a 66 percent pay hike and put her spouse on the government payroll with two taxpayer-funded jobs.

Fourth Ward Councilwoman Kim Shaw is being challenged by Joseph Leconte, who has failed to make a strong case against the incumbent. But Shaw — like Dansereau — voted to give herself a 66 percent pay hike while families were hurting and that indictment cannot be ignored.

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