PLAINFIELD, NJ — Members of the Plainfield Democratic City Committee chose City Council President Steve Hockaday and Councilman Charles McRae Saturday as the party’s choice for two council seats in the June 2 primary.

Hockaday currently represents the Fourth Ward and will seek the Citywide at-large seat. McRae aims to succeed himself representing the Third Ward. Mapp said the process was “not new” and there had been a deadline of Jan. 18 to show interest in running.

 

Two others running for the seats say they are backed by New Jersey Progressive Democrats of Union County and will run on the same line as Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. They are David Rutherford for the Citywide at-large seat and Emily Morgan for the Third Ward seat. Rutherford, who formerly served on the Board of Education, signed in as a guest Saturday to observe the PDCC meeting. Morgan is currently serving on the school board.

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The filing deadline to run in the June primary is 4 p.m. on March 30. Independents may file on Primary Day to run in the Nov. 3. general election.

In his remarks, Mapp stressed the need for a good Primary turnout, for support of Union County Freeholder candidates and for participation in the 2020 Census. Noting that some parents don’t think babies need to be counted, Mapp said, “Babies are people.” 

The total count will eventually be tied to funding for community services.

Mapp also urged attendance at a Feb. 19 PDCC fundraiser, saying, “Never let the price on the ticket stop you from coming to any of our fundraisers.”  

He expressed support for the presidential candidacy of Mike Bloomberg, though adding he will support whatever candidate the Union County Democratic Committee endorses.

On local development, he said of a Park Avenue site being renovated by owners of the Ryland Inn and Liberty House, “This is the kind of restaurant we are talking about.”

The site will have banquet seating for 300, and ribbon-cutting is expected in March, Mapp said.

Also noting a $2.8 million renovation of Rushmore Playground for “multi-sport” use, he said, “Those of you who are objective can see all the transformative things we are doing across the city.”

Adding road repairs and a new Wawa to the list, Mapp said, “To the naysayers, we will not stop developing our city. We know we have the support of the vast, vast, vast number of people who live here.”

The remark seemed to target a faction that ran in opposition to the PDCC slate last year. Although many long-time party supporters were on hand, a comment on social media Thursday had urged PDCC members to boycott the Saturday meeting. 

At present, 15,941 of Plainfield’s 24,500 registered voters are Democrats, 1,179 are Republicans and 6,982 are unaffiliated. Several others belong to smaller groups. Numbers will be updated before the Primary by the Union County Board of Elections and will be posted under “Affiliation Statistics.”

 

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