We are the Fanwood Democratic Committee seeking your support on the June 4th primary ballot on Column B, along with Mayor Colleen Mahr and a slate of Democratic Council Candidates.
We read with great interest the recent interview given by Union County Freeholder and Scotch Plains Township Administrator Al Mirabella and his wife, Phyllis, on the upcoming election. We felt it merited a response from those of us who were personally and directly affected by their representations of who we are, what we think, what we are allegedly saying and why we are running on Column B, the People First Democrats ticket.
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The Mirabella's are backed by Union County Party Chairman/New Jersey State Senator Nick Scutari who has forced a primary challenge here in Fanwood and in several municipalities across the county. The Democratic chairman has pitted Democrats against each other.
While they speak of how Mayor Mahr was "offered the line but didn’t take it,” what they conveniently leave out is that Senator Scutari refused to allow us, many long-standing committee members, to run with Mayor Mahr on the County Democratic Party line. His motive is simple: build a party that supports him, and him alone. So let’s call this primary challenge what it is -- political retribution for supporting Mayor Mahr over him for County Chair.
Mayor Mahr and the Column B Council candidates did not and would not turn their backs on us for the idea of running on the County Democratic line, something that would have made their lives easier. Instead, they chose to stand shoulder to shoulder with us. Who are we? We are Fanwood Democrats who represent a town with people of different ages, from a variety of cultural, ethnic and professional backgrounds, who are joined together by our common Democratic beliefs.
Some of our members are new to our team this year. All have impressive resumes as volunteer members of Fanwood boards and commissions, as well as other community activities. We are invested in Fanwood. Together, we are all working to build a better Fanwood and a stronger Democratic Party.
The call by the Mirabella's to bring a diversity of opinions and new ideas to our local Committee is curious since they have been absent from our meetings, social events, and local efforts to elect Fanwood Democrats, all opportunities to share these so-called new ideas. Freeholder Mirabella has been on our County Freeholder Board for 22 years and has been supposedly active in our committee for 16 years, ample time to present ideas and bring new members to the committee. So, you can see why this new-found interest in rebuilding our party came as a surprise to the entirety of the Fanwood Democratic Committee.
In reading the interview, one thing is very clear -- this election is indeed about more than one person. It's about two people -- County Chair Scutari and Freeholder Mirabella, who are both trying to control what happens here in Fanwood.
Our Fanwood Democratic Committee’s door has always been open to all who want to join our cause. We encourage the voters to visit our website,fanwooddems.com. From now until June 4th, we will be actively working to re-elect Mayor Mahr and the entire Column B team!
Sincerely and in unity,
Patricia "Trisha" Walsh
Erin McElroy Barker