SOMERVILLE, NJ - In a joint statement issued by the Somerset and Hunterdon County Freeholder boards. Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, D-16th was criticized for what they describe as an elitist dig at residents of both counties made in front of supporters at a Princeton Community Democratic Organization endorsement meeting earlier this year.
A tape of the meeting surfaced this week. The video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tieRe45qLE and the remarks run from 10:32 to 10:56.
“It was evident from watching Assemblyman Zwicker’s remarks in front of the Princeton Democrats that he wishes his legislative district included only Princeton, and that he – and many in the audience – perceive themselves as superior to people who live in Somerset and Hunterdon Counties,” said Freeholder Mark Caliguire, who is challenging Zwicker in November, and spoke on behalf his fellow Freeholders, Peter Palmer, Patrick Scaglione, Pat Walsh and Brian Levine.
“It’s a shame to know that Mr. Zwicker judges someone’s worth based solely on their zip code or their ideology. If I am fortunate enough to win this November, I will represent everyone equally and, more importantly, respect them equally. Something that is lacking in their representation by Assemblyman Zwicker today,” he added.
“At best, Andrew Zwicker was caught on tape pandering to his far-left base in Princeton. At worst, Assemblyman Zwicker actually believes his own elitist nonsense and is even more detached from reality than I thought,” said Hunterdon County Freeholder Director John Lanza, who similarly spoke on behalf of his Freeholder colleagues, John King, Matt Holt, Suzanne Lagay, and Rob Walton.
“Moreover, I find it fascinating how Mr. Zwicker – who routinely plugs himself as a scientist who makes decisions based on facts and evidence – came to such an ignorant conclusion about what it is like to live in Hunterdon and Somerset Counties. The fact is that Hunterdon and Somerset Counties are routinely rated as having the lowest poverty rates, lowest unemployment rates, and healthiest citizens in the State of New Jersey. It sounds to me like Mr. Zwicker is far more concerned with politics and demagoguery, and not the evidence he claims to champion.”
The following is a tanscript of Zwicker Remarks: “I said to you, I have this idea and I need your help. Because the 16th District – as I know you don’t want to accept (chortle, snicker) – is well beyond our borders (more snickering and laughing). It goes into Somerset County. Goes into Hunterdon County, and goes into Middlesex County. And, Somerset and Hunterdon County are not quite like Princeton, I don’t know if you’re aware of that (more laughing).”