by Marc A. Krauss
When one talks about politics in Union County it could make your head spin. The one thing I can tell you is party affiliation at the local and county is irrelevant. There are no issues that are addressed at the county level that split the county on party lines.
Unlike at the state and federal level where gun control, gay marriage, troops overseas and global warming are all important issues, they are not addressed locally. What splits the county on party lines is on how to best govern the county and where to apply resources and most importantly, your tax dollars which represent anywhere from 18-26% of your property taxes.
However in order to get elected in Union County you need party affiliation. This has proven true in past elections when Independent candidates ran and lost for a variety of reasons.
According to the most recent New Jersey Voter Registration information, 15% of registered voters in Union County are Republicans, 42% are Democrats and the remainder and largest portion at 44% are Unaffiliated. The greatest turnout of voters is during a presidential election, followed by a gubernatorial election and then congressional/senatorial elections. The higher the level of office at the top of the ticket generates the greater voter turnout. This holds true just about everywhere.
Under our current form of county government, we elect nine members to the Board of Chosen Freeholders At-Large based on partisan elections. No news there. In my opinion, Union County is best served if the composition of the Board of Freeholders is bi-partisan rather than the current All-Democrat Board of Freeholders. Having a 9-0 party balance on the Board of Freeholders is politically unhealthy for the Union County and has been for a decade and half. This 9-0 party majority creates what is called a “super majority” where one party has total control and can and has shut out any contrary opinion or counter position by opposing members of the public, basically avoiding discussion or debate. By the way, debating is politically healthy even if you don’t like the discussion, tone or outcome. What is needed on the Board of Freeholders are opposing views.
What can I tell you about the Democrat party in Union County? After reviewing the election reports the Democrats outspend the Republicans roughly 10 to 1 at the county level. The Democrats expend a large amount of resources to get their candidates elected. I have no doubt that their standard negative campaign literature will fill your mailboxes soon. I can’t wait to see what they say about me, an honorably discharged combat veteran with 21 years of service.
So, what is the main problem with Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders? When people become party-centric as opposed to Union County-centric, Union County suffers. The All-Democrat Board of Chosen Freeholders has had the super majority for 15 years. They serve a small minority that is interested in gaining political control and rewarding loyal party members with high-paying patronage positions within Union County, the party-centric.
This takes me back to the senior citizen I met while campaigning in 2009 for the Township Committee of Springfield. She said, “I want to someone to keep an eye on them,” and she was a lifelong Democrat. She wasn’t alone in 2009. In 2009, Republican Freeholder Candidate Nicole Cole received 51,940 votes. There were roughly 30,000 Republicans that voted in Union County in 2009; that meant over 20,000 Democrats and Unaffiliated voters voted for a Republican to keep an eye on them too.Those 20,000 Democrats and Unaffiliated voters know that the current All-Democrat Board of Freeholders are not representative of them.
So, I ask everyone regardless of party affiliation to consider voting Krauss, Martini, and Geiger for Freeholder this year to bring back two-party government and balanced representation For A Better Union County.
Krauss, a retired U.S. Army major, is a Republican candidate running for the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders.
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