A packed house in Burlington County features a contested intra-party contest among Democrats for a freeholder seat surrendered by the disgraced George Youngkin (pictured, above).
Tonight’s a screening forum ahead of a scheduled Jan. 19th convention.
The three leading candidates:
Jason Jones: Mount Holly mayor and member of IBEW Local 269. Endorsed by the Burlington/Mercer Building Trades;
Dan O’Connell: Delran Councilman and retired Transit Union. Endorsed by the BurlCo CLC;
Gina LaPlaca: Lumberton Municipal Chair and attorney. Endorsed by the NJPBA and BurlCo
Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 3091.
From a source in the room:
Party establishment giving heavy-handed handshakes and winks, encouraging support for O’Connell.
BurlCo Democratic Committee Chairman Joe Andl at the front of the room.
Strong showing for Jones for his revitalization work in downtown Mount Holly.
“Loud cheers from the female delegation for Gina.”
LaPlaca offered the following:
“As a nine-year old girl I got into a fight on the playground after the Dukakis-Bush debate because the other girl called Dukakis a wimp,” said LaPlaca. “Since then, I’ve learned to fight with my words and my actions. Hopefully, that nine-year old girl can become only the 15th woman to ever serve in 325 years on the Burlington County Freeholder Board and fight for the residents of Burlington County.”
It was her speech and she spoke it well.
Jones needed homerun work.
“I will bring my strong work ethic and passion, along with all my experience to help my fellow freeholders make Burlington County the best it can be,” said the mayor.
Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-7) was in the room, and with Youngkin on ice after revelations of a domestic battery past, the venerable Burlington lawmaker took a crack at an uncomfortable question. He wanted the elephant in the room, O’Connell, to address someone’s statement on Facebook about the party not needing “another old white guy on the BOF.”
O’Connell said he’s a retiree and has a lot of time to dedicate to the position.