Dear Editor:

I’m proud to support Colleen Mahr for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee  (UCDC) and am encouraging my Scotch Plains peers to join me.

I was a first time candidate wanting to make a difference in my hometown of Scotch Plains, when Mayor Mahr of neighboring Fanwood stepped in to help me campaign and win my election to be Councilwoman three years ago. Colleen has been a mentor to me ever since, and we need more women like her in municipal, county and state government.

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In the two last decade, Colleen has proven herself as a force to be reckoned with and a champion for Democratic candidates throughout Union County. She has supported countless men and women in their run for office, and her skills were at work in nearly every historic Democratic win in Union County these past years.

Her record of cultivating these newly elected leaders earned her the position of UCDC Vice Chair, a role she redefined with continued, direct involvement in each of our 21 communities. So much so, there were few among us who expected anything other than Mahr becoming Chair when Jerry Green abruptly resigned for health reasons three weeks ago.

It’s clear, this isn’t just a race between Mayor Colleen Mahr and Nick Scutari. The election for the Democratic Committee Chair is a put up or shut up fight to maintain the Union County Boys Club that’s been draining our communities and Party of the representation, resources and leaders we need and deserve. Green's jumping over Vice Chair Mahr to "anoint" Nick is proof of this, and fully displays the sexism, voter suppression, and intimidation rampant in Union County politics. This era needs to end, and it can end February 21st.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “I am not ready to wait 100 to 200 years for things to change. The time to act is now; we can either use it constructively or destructively. Human progress rarely roles on inevitability. It is through human dedication and effort that we move forward. Our actions should have the ability to affect change. When we are not working towards change the outcome is social apathy, and the guardians of the status quo are in their oxygen tanks keeping the old order alive!”

Colleen Mahr is the breath of fresh air we need to achieve the future we deserve in Union County. Women in our Party have been warned, given explanation, stepped over, and yet, we maintain the power to persist, vote, and build the future of our Party. If you care about the people of Union County as much as I do, join me in voting Colleen Mahr our next UCDC Chair. 

Councilwoman Rose Checchio
Scotch Plains, NJ