SOMERSET, NJ - Somerville Borough Council president Steve Peter joined with Franklin Councilwoman At-Large Shanel Robison and her Democratic running mate Alex Avellan to kick off their campaigns for County Clerk and Somerset County Freeholders at the Stage House Tavern on Amwell Road Wednesday night.
"To me, it is a travesty that the county clerk's office makes you come to the office to do absolutely everything," Peter said. "We should have satellite offices open at least once a month, come out to the areas like Franklin, like Basking Ridge and further off areas. That is one of the reasons why I am running."
Peter was elected to the borough council in November, 2015, and was elected Borough Council president at the borough's re-organizaiton meeting on New Year's Day, 2016. He is a project and systems manager at Princeton University Press.
His opponent will be incumbent County Clerk Brett Radi, who was elected to serve as Somerset County Clerk in 2003 and was re-elected in 2008 and 2013. Prior to that, he served as Deputy County Clerk from 1993 through 2002. His government experience extends back to 1988 when he served as Hillsborough Township Municipal Clerk, a position he held through 1991. He then was appointed to serve as the Hillsborough Township Administrator in 1992.
"My commitment is not to run against anyone, but I am running for a seat for all people of Somerset County," Robinson said. "I believe my work speaks for itself. I continue to do what I need to do, not only for my household but for the people of Franklin. So I ask you, do not ‘send’ me to Somerset County as Freeholder, let us do this together. Do not ‘send’ me, let us go together let our voice be heard. No longer will we only be on the menu, but let us be seated at the table with a voice for all people at all times."
Robinson has lived in the township for 16 years and has 30 years of leadership and management experience and 15 years of civic involvement.
She has a Bachelor of Arts in Labor Studies and Employee Relations from Rutgers University in New Brunswick.
Robinson also attended Southern University A&M College where she was inducted into Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics Honor Society), and where she obtained her electronics background and used those skills to serve in the United States Air Force Reserves for eight years as an avionics specialist.
"If you look up in a dictionary the words, tireless, courageous, warrior, discipline, faithful, and loyal, you will see a picture of Shanel Robinson," said Assemblyman Joe Danielsen, D-17. "You can't help but love this woman and I sometimes go to church with her. So, when I say that we need to back Shanel and her running mates, I say that with all my heart, knowing that we have a local, county, state, and national agenda to achieve, and Shanel and her running mates are going to be the first level to stockholders that put us to that step going forward."
Avellan is Robinson's running mate for the two Somerset County Freeholder seats up for election in November. Their Republican opponents are incumbent Freeholder Brian D. Levine, former mayor of Franklin and his running mate, Somerville Mayor Brian Gallagher.
“When I think about running with Shanel, and I think of her as a person, I am truly inspired and we are going to work together with your support to ensure that all people of our county have a voice," Avellan said.