Dear Westfield Voters and Concerned Citizens,
I am writing to address concerns that you have about the process by which a Democratic candidate will be selected to run for Congress for the seat (NJ CD 7) now occupied by Leonard Lance.
First, ultimately, that candidate is determined by registered Democratic voters within all or parts of six counties (Union, Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren, Essex, and Morris) in the June 2018 Democratic Primary. To be on the ballot, candidates must file petitions by April 1.
In each of those counties there are democratic committees which will endorse candidates and those candidates will file their petitions to "run on the line" of the county democratic organization. You might want to look at your old sample ballots to better understand this. Candidates run in vertical lines. So, for instance, when Shelley Brindle ran in the 2017 primary she ran in the same line as Phil Murphy. That line is titled the "Regular Democratic Organization of Union County." There were no other candidates for mayor. BUT there were other competitors for the Democratic nomination for governor and they were on lines other than the one Shelley Brindle was on, for example, Jim Johnson.
So how does one get to run on the line of the Regular Democratic Organization of Union County ("RDO")? The line is voted on by the municipal chairs of the towns which are part of the jurisdiction. For CD 7 in Union County, the municipal chairs who vote are the municipal chairs of: Westfield, Summit, Berkeley Heights, New Providence, Springfield, Scotch Plains, Cranford, Garwood, Winfield, Union Township, Clark, Kenilworth, and Mountainside.
There are 7 candidates currently seeking the endorsement of the RDO. In alphabetical order, they are: Peter Jacob, Goutam Jois, Tom Malinowki, Lisa Mandelblatt, David Pringle, Scott Salomon, and Linda Weber. Each of these candidates have reached out to the municipal chairs by phone, in person, and at meetings of the municipal chairs. They have participated in county forums held in Somerset, Hunterdon, and Warren counties. The Union County forum is scheduled for February 7. Advertising with the details is expected to be out shortly. The forum will be sponsored by the Union County Democratic Committee, of which the Westfield Democratic Committee is a part. It is also sponsored by grassroots organizations including Westfield 20/20.
I will be consulting with the Westfield Democratic Committee, and be listening to all of you at the forum, and will be most happy to hear from all who want to communicate with me about awarding the RDO line.
You can always reach me by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to all of your involvement in this process!
Chairwoman, Westfield Democratic Committee