BURLINGTON, VT. - Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) has endorsed Democrat challenger Peter Jacob who hopes to unseat Republican incumbent Leonard Lance in New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District, which includes Somerville and several other Somerset County municipalities.
Jacob and 60 other liberal Democrat candidates running for local, state and Congressional office in November’s election, are included on Sander’s preferred list of candidates and ballot initiatives on the Our Revolution website. The site was officially launched Wednesday on Sanders’ home turf with thousands of supporters in the audience and 2,600 viewing parties nationwide watching a Live Stream broadcast online.
Our Revolution is a non-profit organization with a progressive political agenda, a continuation of the movement embraced by millions of enthusiastic Sanders supporters during the 2016 Democrat primary campaign. Our Revolution has three intertwined goals: to revitalize American democracy, empower progressive leaders and elevate the political consciousness.
Sanders ran a spirited primary campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination against eventual winner Hillary Clinton; after the Philadelphia convention, he retreated to Vermont, where he has been writing a book and working on the launch of Our Revolution.
“Over time, Our Revolution will involve hundreds of thousands of people. These are people who will be fighting at the grassroots level for changes in their local school boards, in their city councils, in their state legislatures and in their representation in Washington,” Sanders told supporters.
“Not only that, they will be involved in major ballot items dealing with campaign finance issues, environmental issues, healthcare issues, labor issues, gender-related issues, and doing all that they can, in every way, to create an America based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice. ’’
Jacob’s political agenda embodies much of what Sanders has advocated - $15 an hour minmum wage, free college tuition, redistribution of wealth, less reliance on fossil fuels and other progressive initiatives.
“Yesterday, we had the honor of being endorsed by Senator Bernie Sanders and his new non-profit organization, Our Revolution. Not only did Our Revolution endorse us, but our candidacy became the first and only New Jersey campaign selected to carry the torch that he lit just last year,” Jacob said.
“Our Revolution has begun, a movement of millions of people standing up and saying enough with politics as usual,” he added. “We deserve a candidate who will bring the people’s voice back to Washington, and we are honored Senator Sanders and Our Revolution believe in us to do exactly that,” Jacob said.
Jacob, 30, is a political upstart, having never run for public office. A resident of Union County, he works in a family-owned security business.
The Democrat’s campaign office is on North Gaston Avenue in Somerville.
Lance is seeking his fifth two-year Congressional term. A resident of Hunterdon County, Lance previously served several terms as a New Jersey Assemblyman and state Senator.
In each of the last four elections, Lance won by considerable margins against different Democrat challengers.
The 7th Congressional District encompasses 54 municipalities in six counties – Essex, Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Union and Warren counties, with a population of 670,000.