SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Westfield's Lisa Mandelblatt dropped her Congressional bid and endorsed Tom Malinowski for the Democratic nomination in New Jersey's Seventh Congressional District, at a forum for the Democratic candidates held at Jonathan Dayton High School in Springfield on Wednesday night.

Mandelblatt, a substitute elementary school teacher who grew up in Springfield, had out-fundraised her competitors through the fourth quarter of 2017, but decided to withdraw anyway.  She made the announcement at her alma mater where she was named "Most Likely to Succeed" and worked on the school newspaper.  

“It is time to put changing our country over my own candidacy and do what is best for our shared goal in November,” Mandelblatt said. “I want to ensure that the candidate who is best able to take out Congressman Leonard Lance has a clear field to do so. I urge the other candidates to consider the consequences of a bloody primary.”

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Prior to teaching, Mandelblatt was an attorney, graduating from Cornell University and Fordham Law school.  

“I firmly believe that behavior and conversations will not change until women have a seat at the table and make our voices heard directly,” Mandelblatt said. “But being a woman is not enough of a qualifier. We need women who will fight for and amplify the voices of other women,” she said.

“We must flip the House if we are going to stop this assault on our most fundamental values,” Mandelblatt said. “We need to win 24 seats to flip the house and CD7 is one of these must-wins.  This is a daunting and awesome responsibility.”

Mandelblatt said she is endorsing Malinowski because he shares her values.  “He’s not a woman and he tells terrible dad jokes,” Mandelblatt said. “But I have heard him in forum after forum state his eagerness to fight for women and stand up for progressive values in Washington.”

Mandelblatt said she plans to campaign for Malinowski.

“There is nothing more important than beating Lance in November, and I will do everything I can on behalf of Tom or whoever it may be to do so,” Mandelblatt said.