Government

State​ Legislative​ Candidates​ Offer their Vision for New Brunswick

a27bb3b26d71c3f2928f_unnamed__7_.jpg
a27bb3b26d71c3f2928f_unnamed__7_.jpg

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - ​Longtime Democratic incumbents representing New Brunswick in the state Legislature are facing competition from a Republican slate and a third-party candidate when voters go to the polls on Tuesday, November 7. ​

New Brunswick is part of the 17th legislative district (LD-17), along with Franklin Township, Piscataway, Milltown and North Brunswick.

There are two seats in the General Assembly, which is the lower house of the State Legislature, and one seat in the State Senate, which is the upper house. All three seats are up for grabs.

Sign Up for E-News

TAPInto New Brunswick asked for candidate statements, seeking the candidates' plan to make New Brunswick an even better city in which to resident and work. Below are their unedited response:

Bob Smith, State Senate, Democrat - Smith has served since 2002:

“Just for background, I and my Assembly colleagues have been involved in:

  • The $200 million for New Brunswick High School
  • Restoration of several middle schools
  • The $200 million for Route 18 improvement
  • Designating New Brunswick an Urban Enterprise Zone
  • This year, obtaining a $45,000,000 EDA tax credit for the new New Brunswick Performing Arts Center

Next term, if elected, installing electric vehicle charging infrastructure in New Brunswick to facilitate electric vehicles and better health.”

Daryl Kipnis, State Senate, Republican:  

“We have a big problem right now with unaccountable agencies running amok not doing their jobs. Right now I’m leaning towards eliminating the New Brunswick Housing Authority and restructuring its operations. You have to replace people who don’t care with others that will be happy do their job.

New Brunswick Water Utility issues are very troubling as well. Also, we have a big problem with the municipal government handing out payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) and tax abatements to insiders which starve schools of funding because they are not considered property tax dollars.

There needs to be fairness and accountability. I want to spend some time observing in the public schools as well and speaking with teachers and administrators to find out how I can help them.

I want every resident of New Brunswick to know they have someone in Trenton who will always listen to them when their local officials and bureaucrats do not. I will make my best efforts to work with those that genuinely want to do their jobs for the people they serve and hold accountable the ones that don’t.”

Joseph V. Egan, General Assembly, Democrat -  Assemblyman Joseph V. Egan has served in the General Assembly since 2002:

“This is Assemblyman Joe Egan, I have devoted my entire career to creating new jobs and promoting labs that protect the health and safety of working men and women, to achieve a fair and equitable minimum wage. I am Chairman of the Assembly's Labor Committee and served for many years as a New Brunswick Councilman.

I urge you to vote for me and for my running mates, Senator Bob Smith and Assemblyman  Joe Danielsen. Together, we are fighting to increase state aid to education and to soften the burden of property taxation. All three of us have been selected for leadership position in the Legislature and we are all dedicated to provide real and effective leadership with you and your family in mind."

Robert Quinn, General Assembly, Republican:

“As the public may know, I am the only candidate in the race having participated in the 2015 State Wide NJ Department of Education Study Commission testimony sessions on Common Core/PARCC. If elected, I will sponsor legislation to remove Common Core aligned standards and test PARCC tests from our state. The standards and test have had a detrimental impact to our vulnerable children.

In a further attempt to decrease poverty in New Brunswick and throughout our state, I support a strengthening of our library systems as well as a full accounting of which schools throughout the state require books for the children but cannot afford to purchase them. During my pre-candidacy activities, it became apparent that this is a common issue in our schools - and an unacceptable one. If a child desires to learn in our society, it is our responsibility to ensure that the means in place to ensure their success.

I note the lack of voice from such organizations as the Central Jersey Progressive Democrats in our government. Having met a number of their members on the campaign trail, I truly believe many of the concerns they have raised are real and true. Gerrymandering, influence of big money in elections, support for our environment for future generations, investment in infrastructure, and heavy influences of land developers in our government and elections are all extremely important and valid issues that impact all in our communities. If anything, perhaps our incumbents will be reminded on election day that this is the people's government.

Finally, at least one of your incumbents recently declined to support legislation for women's health services clinics citing "religious beliefs". While one may have differences in personal beliefs versus public policy, it is the role of our representatives to support the will of the people even if this differs from one's personal beliefs. The people have made it very clear they desire the funding of these services and I would support their will if elected.”

Joe Danielson, General Assembly, Democrat - Assemblyman Joe Danielsen has served in the General Assembly since 2014:

“As a lifelong resident of Franklin Township, I have the distinct honor of serving as your Assemblyperson in the 17th Legislative District since November 2014. In that capacity I have focused my attention on rebuilding our state’s economy, seeking legislation to improve the quality of life for all citizens, especially senior citizens and military veterans, increasing state aid to k-16 education and improving the economic environment of small business.

I also know that the greatest service I can provide my constituents is to be a resource and client center when issues that impact their daily lives are compromised. That is why my motto of “Always at your service” is the center piece that I and my office place first on a daily bases. Each day we handle over 15 calls from constituents needing some direction or help with a government service, and we provide that direction and assistance.

While I have been fortunate to have many bills signed into law, it is in the service to others that gives me my greatest satisfaction. Coming from a family of nine children, and raised by a single mother who was a Franklin educator, she always taught me the value of giving back. My journey from volunteer firefighter to serving in the US Army to fundraising for St. Baldrick’s Cancer Foundation has provided me the direction to be the best I can be in helping those who seek help.

Today as Vice Chairman of the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee and as a member of the Assembly Financial Intuitions and Insurance Committee, I am continuing to strive to provide direction for building a “new “New Jersey. That is why I am proud that I helped bring state funds into the district for our new arts center in New Brunswick and for the North Brunswick train station. I also continue my efforts to raise health and safety concerns about compressor station 206 here in Franklin.

On November 7, we all have an obligation to make our state a better tomorrow than it is today and I hope to continue that journey as your representative.

Michael Habib, General Assembly, It’s Our Time

New Jersey needs a change.  Partisanship has led to a gridlock that does nothing but stall progress and keep us from solving the problems facing our state.  Under both Republican and Democratic leadership, our economic standing has plunged as mismanagement and false promises have left families struggling to keep up with the ever increasing taxes and cost of living.  I believe I could bring a much needed change to our state legislature.  Socially, I am progressive and fiscally. I support smart spending, meaning I’ll spend taxpayer dollars as long as the money we spend has a measurable benefit to the citizens of New Jersey.

As it relates to New Brunswick, we need to ensure proper rent protections are in place to prevent housing displacement as the city continues to grow and expand. Investment in further infrastructure developments which stimulate job growth, including the proposed Amazon HQ project, will help decrease crime rates and raise wages.  Until it is fully legalized on the state/federal level, I believe at a minimum New Brunswick should decriminalize marijuana as the current laws are archaic. Finally, I support a stronger investment in our education system.”

Republican General Assembly candidate Nadine Wilkins did not provide a statement. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - April 25, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

TRENTON - New Jersey now has the most sweeping equal pay legislation in the nation, a terrific headline, following the governor's bill signing yesterday. The question is enforcement. Women and minorities need to know it is illegal for employers to offer them less pay and benefits than others, and that they have the full backing of the state.

The Jaffe Briefing - April 24, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

STATEWIDE - Yeah, yeah, New Jersey has really high taxes. And, yeah, it is super expensive to live here. So, yet another study is out, with the American Legislative Exchange Council ranking New Jersey second-to-last among states in economic performance and 46th in economic outlook, ROI-NJ reports. The study, called "Rich States, Poor ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 23, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

STATEWIDE - First, there was a turkey in every pot. Then there was the "Square Deal," the "New Deal" and now Sen. Cory Booker says it is time for government to offer a, uh, great deal: A job to anyone who wants one. He is proposing federal grants that would select 15 "local areas" in which adults could get a job at $15 an ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 20, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

ON THE ROAD - It looks like a State Police trooper is going to have to head to the bars to pick up chicks, indicted yesterday for intentionally pulling over women in a desperate attempt to land dates. Internal affairs learned the Trooper was pulling over two lovely ladies at the end of 2016, threatening to arrest them if they didn't hand over their ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 19, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

PLAINFIELD - Those who dabble in Union County politics are learning this morning that the former Democratic chairman, Jerry Green, has died at age 79 after a long illness. Green, a longtime assemblyman from Plainfield, rose through the ranks from serving on the freeholder board in the late 1980s.  He will be remembered as a Roselle native, a ...

The Jaffe Briefing - April 18, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

PATERSON - At campaign rallies, why not just cut to the chase? That's what's happening in the Silk City, where a local social media celebrity was handing out $20 bills to would-be voters at a rally on Sunday for mayoral contender Pedro Rodriguez. Our favorite entertainer of all time, Fatboy SSE, had a thick wad of cash, which he was passing out ...

Rutgers professor named Pulitzer Prize finalist

April 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - For Evie Shockley, poetry – and her professorship at Rutgers University–New Brunswick – are central to her engagement with a world that needs change and central to the ways she prepares students to do their own engagement.

This week, Shockley was selected as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in the poetry category. The Pulitzer ...

Rutgers Professor Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

NEW BRUNSWICK - Helen M. Berman, Board of Governors distinguished professor emerita of chemistry and chemical Biology at Rutgers University–New Brunswick, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Berman is among 213 people elected to the academy this year, including author Ta-Nehisi Coates, actor Tom Hanks, President Barack Obama, Supreme ...

Questions now swirl around reported Rutgers theft

NEW BRUNSWICK - A crime alert issued by Rutgers police about an armed robbery on Tuesday April 10 has turned out to be false. 

Upon further investigation, police said the alleged incident in front of the Campbell Hall dorm on George Street did not happen as was initially reported. Police had said initially that the suspect showed a handgun, ordered the ...

NB Public Schools task force takes on chronic absenteeism

April 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK – Being absent for just two days each month means a student will miss 10 percent of the entire school year – enough to negatively impact that student’s academic performance.

It’s sobering information, and a clear demonstration that chronically absent students are at a tremendous educational disadvantage, one from which many of them will never recover.

OPINION

Safe Sleep for Babies Requires Effort from All

April 10, 2018

For more than a decade, my organization, Keeping Babies Safe (KBS), has sounded the steady drumbeat of safe sleep awareness, which in turn has created bans on dangerous products and has helped enact laws that work to ensure babies are sleeping safely.

In 2018, KBS kicked off its latest awareness campaign designed to promote safe sleep practices and products ...

'Elementary, My Dear Watson!' Solving Mysteries with Genetic Geneaology

April 20, 2018

The next meeting of the New Brunswick Historical Society will be on Thursday, April 26 at 7:00 p.m. Andrew May will speak about Genetic Genealogy. Humans are 99.9% identical in their genetic makeup, yet, differences in 0.1% of our DNA has helped us answer questions about our recent and deep ancestral origins. Direct-to-consumer DNA testing provides the toolbox for solving difficult ...

Why People Should Visit Black Churches and Black People Should Welcome Them

March 29, 2018

Dear TAPInto New Brunswick,

In New Jersey, segregation is a cultural issue that demands the immediate attention of Christians. Nearly 87 percent of Christian churches in the U.S. are either made up of only white, or only African-American parishioners. When we worship in the comfortable bubble of segregation, we miss the opportunity for racial reconciliation, as mandated by Jesus:

"A ...