CRANFORD - The 2018 midterm elections are right around the corner and the race for New Jersey's 7th Congressional District is heating up.
Typically a Republican district, Democratic nominee Tom Malinowski and fellow Democrats are pulling out all the stops to flip NJ-07 blue, a seat currently held by Leonard Lance. Lance’s district is just one of 23 Republican-held congressional seats in the country that voted for Hillary Clinton, and he’s considered a vulnerable target in the event of a Democratic surge this fall.
On Saturday afternoon, Senator Cory Booker joined Malinowski for a rally at the Cranford Community Center. Mayor Thomas Hannen opened the rally by welcoming the attendance to Cranford and expressed his hope that this year's voting turnout is the highest ever and results with NJ-07 flipping blue.
Local freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski, along with Joanna Clark, Tom Malinowski's mother, spoke to the crowd before it was candidate Malinowski's turn to address the future voters.
Malinowski warmed up the crowd by jokingly asking for sympathy because he had to speak between his mother and Cory Booker. Again, showing his comedic side, he mentioned how his mother had the incredible foresight to gave birth to him in Poland on Bruce Springsteen's birthday, and said, "I may not have been born in the U.S.A, but I was born to run in New Jersey!"
Malinowski touched upon his agenda and what's at stake this year, saying he and other Democrats running want to "build bridges not walls." In terms of school safety, getting back tax deductions, and health care for those with preexisting conditions, Malinowski said that Democrats have the answers for voters in the district, not Republicans, and hopes for a universal health care system for all.
Though he is not on a ballot this year, Cory Booker was the final to speak and had the crowd roaring with applause. Booker mentioned how it's been a tough couple of weeks and he had to "bring some Jersey down to Washington", and in some cases "go Newark on some folks." Though Malinowski's race isn't as big as a senate or gubernatorial election, Booker said when he is campaigning up and down the country, folks in other states like Arizona, Florida, and Nevada are asking me "how's Tom Malinowski doing in New Jersey?" Booker said that people all over the country know that these elections are a pathway to a check and balance system on the president of the United States.
Following the rally, TAPinto Cranford was able to speak with Senator Booker. When asked what his overall reaction was to the turnout and response, Booker replied, "I have never in my time as an elected politician in New Jersey seen this kind of turnout and energy coming from this incredible town. To see a gymnasium full of people to support Tom Malinowski just encourages my heart about what the outcome can be. We still have six weeks to go, and we still have a lot of work to do, so I'm taking nothing for granted. All of us have to keep our feet on the gas."
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