FLEMINGTON, NJ – A forum sponsored by Progressive Hunterdon Democrats featured three Democratic gubernatorial candidates and spokespersons for two others.

Bill Brennan, Ray Lesniak and Mark Zinna each appeared at the event held at Stangle Stage last week. John Wisniewski was represented by his wife, Debbie Wisniewski; Mike Beson spoke on behalf of Phil Murphy.

The forum was to be moderated by TAPinto editor Rod Hirsch, who took ill last week. Instead, Steve Chernoski, a Lambertville resident who teaches sixth- and eighth-grade leadership and human rights in the Millburn School district, took on the role.

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Chernoski is also a reporter for the New Hope Free press and the creator of New Jersey: The Movie.

Those who might have expected drama and rhetorical fireworks would have left disappointed. Perhaps because the two-hour event was a forum and not a debate, or perhaps because the event was solely for candidates of one party, the discussion was low-key and thoughtful. There were no personal attacks.

Candidate Brennan may have summarized the evening for many.

The group owed a “tremendous ‘thank you’ to Donald Trump for filling a roomful of Democrats in Hunterdon,” he told the crowd of 100 that gathered at Stangl Stage here April 26. “Motivated, active, informed Democrats. That’s not something you used to see a lot.

“That’s something he’s done for the Democratic party ... getting people excited about taking back our government from the people who hijacked it,” Brennan said.

The evening’s major topics included Obamacare and what should be done if it is repealed, Planned Parenthood, the state’s pension fund, marijuana legalization, and municipal consolidation.

Starting tomorrow, TAPinto will present a series of articles on the gubernatorial forum, each one addressing one of the evening’s specific topics.