BERNARDS TWP., NJ _ Sophia Chadda, the Democratic candidate for this year's race for Bernards Township Committee, has invited residents to a kickoff of her campaign from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Pleasant Valley Park off Valley Road in Basking Ridge.

"Dr. Chadda looks forward to talking with you and working together for Bernards Township," says the announcement for the planned campaign announcement. 

The event will consist of "sharing conversation, coffee, bagels, doughnuts, and live music," the announcement said.

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The campaign kickoff is scheduled to be held rain or shine at the covered picnic pavilion located by the tennis courts.

Last week, the Republican candidate for Bernards Township Committee, Janice Fields, officially launched her campaign at the Allen Street gazebo in downtown Basking Ridge.

Both candidates are competing for one three-year seat on the Township Committee. Mayor Carol Bianchi, who serves on the Township Committee, announced earlier this year she would not seek re-election to the governing body.

Bernards Township Committeewoman Joan Bannan Harris, who last year was elected as the first Democrat on the Township Committee in 20 years, is also scheduled to be at the announcement, along with other area Democrats, including Somerset County Freeholders Shanel Robinson and Sara Sooy, County Clerk Steve Peter, and members of the Bernards Township and Somerset County Democratic Committees. 

“I want to be a driving force for creating a positive vision for our town and making it a reality,” said Chadda in a press release announcing the kickoff. “Bernards Township needs strong, highly qualified leadership as we embark on three new housing development projects and consider the future of the Millington Quarry."

Rather than reactto challenges that arise, I would like to incorporate a more proactive and collaborative approach to creating a vision for land use in our town," she said in the release. "I would also like to improve our township’s sustainability practices by encouraging the use of reusable bags and limiting single-use plastics. We are in a position to be leaders in taking care of our town, rather than waiting for the state mandates like the ones we have seen in New York."

She said she is eager to "jump in and look forward to working with all residents on the future vision of our town.”

Dr. Chadda is a local small-business owner, a board-certified periodontist, and a former assistant professor of periodontics at Rutgers Dental School, according to the press release. She has held leadership positions in her professional organizations, and volunteers locally at her children’s schools and faith organization, the release said.