by Marc A. Krauss
The surprise resignation of Freeholder Sullivan left a vacant seat on the Chosen Board of Freeholders, which will be filled by Democrat Sergio Granados. What Mr. Granados lacks are the qualifications and experience to sit on the board. Yet his party selected him from among all the qualified Democrats in Union County.
According to his online bio, he is currently a health specialist “trainee” for the City of Elizabeth’s Health and Human Services Department and a recent college graduate, making him a political neophyte. He touts his experience as president of Portugal Day Committee as experience enough to govern the 500,000 plus residents and manage the nearly $500,000,000 county budget.
Freeholder Daniel Sullivan, the outgoing freeholder, rejected the idea Granados’ inexperience would be a factor in his ability to make decisions on behalf of residents. “There are nine freeholders and there’s a ton of experience on that board so there’s plenty of room for a young man to come up and learn things,” Sullivan said in a February 24 article online in the Star Ledger. What Mr. Sullivan is really saying is that there will be eight other board members to tell Mr. Granados, if elected, what to say and how to vote. Beside his lack of qualifications and work experience, he is the least educated among all the candidates. Union County residents expect their elected officials to have core capabilities and not receive On-The-Job Training. No one wants a Freeholder-In-Training.
So you have to ask yourself why him? He has only one real qualification, demographics. Mr Granados is staying close to home in Elizabeth during his campaign as noted in the Spanish language paper, La Voz, which has labeled him the “Candidito hispano”, the Hispanic Candidate.
Robert Muñoz (R), New Providence Borough Councilman said, “As a candidate for public office myself, I would prefer to be elected and appreciated for my experience, character and record of public service, rather than my nationality, ethnic or racial background. Union County is a diverse county with diverse problems. We are going to need qualified people to tackle those problems. The biggest problem right now with the County is its spending. The western part of the county has been seeing county tax increases of astronomical proportions.”
A recent Gallup Poll shows Hispanics of all ages in the U.S. today are more than twice as likely to identify with or lean to the Democratic Party rather than the Republican Party. However, younger Hispanics are prone to be independent, and are more likely to identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, compared with older Hispanics.
“As a self-identifying Hispanic, and an active Republican, I find that an increasing amount of Hispanics are embracing the Republican message said, Elizabeth Baamonde, Union County Young Republicans Chairwoman. Joe Aziz, Vice Chairman of the Union County Young Republicans further stated, “Limited government, in addition to job creation, are issues that members of all ethnicities can embrace. Ultimately, I think that our progress and growth in the Hispanic community is extremely encouraging,”
In August, Governor Christie picked up the endorsement of more than 100 individual Latino business owners, including the head of the state Hispanic Chamber of Commerce indicating that the Hispanic community doesn’t vote along a single party line.
For the record, I challenge Mr. Granados to serve the public solely based on his lack of qualification, experience and public service and not his ethnic background. I do fault the Democrats for not giving enough credit to the Hispanic community and the voting public in general to vote for a qualified candidate as opposed to a check the demographic box candidate.
Marc A. Krauss is a Republican candidate for freeholder in Union County.
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