CD7 Flareup: Mandelblatt and Weber Go Head to Head Early as Chen Lingers


It proved a strange (and competitive) Elks Club scene, as a cross-section of fledgling candidates for Congress in the 7th District gently tried to outdo one another in making an impression in the presence of Somerset County Democratic Committee Chair Peg Schaffer.

The field is swelling, with attorney Goutam Jois getting in a contest already charged with what appear to be the early party establishment function collisions of Linda Weber and Lisa Mandelblatt. Each standing in the other’s way, Mandelblatt and Weber want the line in Somerset, and appear – by the looks of their movements last week at the Somerset County Federation of Democratic Women – eager to get Schaffer’s attention. They worked the room in a game of friendly combative one-upsmanship, as Schaffer coyly welcomed one and all to the dance.

Not present at the event was last year’s Democratic nominee, social Worker Peter Jacob, who lost to U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7) by 11 points. Jacob looks prepared (if he has to) to run from the outside – in Somerset at least. Last week, he led a march on Lance’s office to protest President Donald J. Trump‘s revocation of DACA.

Sources continue to eyeball Christine Liu Chen as an option, too. She’s running against state Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) and if she does better than expected she may yet endear herself to 2018 federal election devotees. Schaffer is said to like Chen early.

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