Insiders Make their October Arguments for Either Lance or Malinowski in Battleground CD7

InsiderNJ found some Republican and Democratic insiders in the 7th District, or in portions of those counties that touch the 7th District, and harvested their opinions on why they back either incumbent U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7) or former Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski.

Here’s what they had to say:

Hunterdon County Democratic Chair Arlene Quinones Perez.

MALINOWSKI

“Tom Malinowski is the right choice for New Jersey. Tom is the only choice that will allow New Jersey to be a moderate voice of independence in Washington. There was a time when his opponent could be seen as a moderate but that has certainly passed. A moderate does not became a moderate right before election. A moderate does not vote to repeal healthcare for our community. A moderate does not vote to decrease funding for women. Tom will be the congressman to ensure we have a voice that truly represents New Jersey in Washington.” – Hunterdon County Democratic Committee Chair Arlene Quinones Perez.

Scutari
Senator Scutari

MALINOWSKI

“I think Malinowski’s stances and positions more accurately fit the voters and that will be reflected on Election Day. This is the best chance a Democrat has had to win this seat going back to when Linda Stender almost beat Mike Ferguson in 2006. – Union County Democratic Committee Chairman Nick Scutari.

Bateman and Doherty arrive.

LANCE

“I think Leonard Lance is a moderate voice who’s been a model for this district. He’s a moderate on most issues. He had a couple of issues early on with the Tea Party, but he’s a moderate. His ethics are second to none and he specializes in great constituent services. He had a good environmental record in the senate and he’s been a very successful congressman, bringing back a lot of money to the district. The race is closer than he’s used to, but he wins at the end of the day. It’s a Republican district. There a number of factors. What went on with the [Brett] Kavanaugh conmfirmation chanegs the dynamic a little, in addition to the gas tax just going back out. It’s closer than usual, but one thing about Leonard Lance – he’s always responsive. – Senator Kip Bateman (R-16).

SHUTDOWN CENTRAL: Bramnick, left, and Assemblyman John DiMaio.

LANCE

“Leonard Lance has been a statesman and somebody who has always been moderate in his views; always measured, and in today’s world we need someone who’s measured. When necessary he will vote against the president. I recall him standing up against Christie Whitman. This is a serious legislator.” Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21).

Barlas

LANCE

“Leonard Lance has proven that he is a person who represents the needs of his district above his party. I don’t necessarily agree with his vote on the RGGI bill. He took a lot of heat and ended up getting primaried over that, but he felt it was best for his district. He voted against Christie Todd Whitman on pension bonding and ended up losing a chairmanship over it. He will always put people above party. If that is what the election is about, then Leonard Lance wins. If there are blue wave forces beyond the district at work in this cycle, then the joker’s wild.” – Essex County GOP Chairman Al Barlas.

Senator Smith, right, hobnobs with Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel following today’s preliminary voting session.

MALINOWSKI

“I think people should vote for Malinowski because in congress he will be a leader on the environment and a champion on many issues we care about, and he will stand up to Donald trump. We’ll have someone in congress who actually cares about the environment and climate change, and who could play a role in helping to advance the leadership of a veteran like U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6), who, yes, I think should be the next speaker of the House of Representatives. I think the 7th District race is going to be close. I think it’s going to be like Rush Holt’s first race when he knocked off Mike Pappas. He won by 1,000 votes or so.  Malinowski wins maybe by 1,500 votes.” – NJ Sierra Club Director Jeff Tittel.

NJGOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt, right, with Somerset GOP diehard Janice Fields.

LANCE

“Leonard is always plugged into his constituents. He weighs his decisions by listening to people, makes a decision, and then stands by it. He surveys the average person and asks, ‘How do you think I should vote?’ I remember at one of the town halls, someone was giving him a hard time on one of his decsions and he stood by it. He didn’t tell the person what he wanted to hear. He didn’t apologize. That was a moment where I said, ‘Wow, I really like Leonard, he stands by what he believes in, and he cares.’ You’ll never hear anyone say they didn’t get a call back from him. Leonard has never forgottem the people he serves. He does small coffees, even in the off season. No crowd is too small for Leonard.” – Republican Committeewoman Janice Fields.

Schaffer

MALINOWSKI

“I think Tom’s going to win because the voters in this district are right thinking, educated and anti-Trump. Lance has been waffling. He’s a changed man. Years ago he was invincible but Malinowski is hitting him at the right time.” – Somerset County Democratic Committee Chair Peg Schaffer.

Chairman Mortimer

LANCE

“Leonard’s views are in line with our district. He’s a lifelong New Jersey guy. He represents the district best. The district is center right, not hard left. The district is not defined by Millburn. Leonard speaks for his people. He’s always voted with the residents of the district in mind. He’s not in lockstep with Trump any more than he was in lockstep with Obama when the Tea Party said he was. Malinowski came here just to run for Congress. He lived in Washington, D.C. for 20 years. He has Jersey roots, but if people are in Washington too long they lose perspective.” – Union County GOP Chairman Glenn Mortimer.

Ciattarelli
Ciattarelli with wife Melinda Ciattarelli and former Somerset County GOP Chairman Dale Florio.

LANCE

“Leonard Lance? Honest. Hard-working. Available. Responsive. He’s a life-long citizen of the district, unlike his opponent, who moved into the district for the sole purpose of running for congress. That is the very definition of a carpetbagger.” – former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, a 2017 Republican candidate for governor.

Pringle

MALINOWSKI

“I continue to be shocked, amazed and disappointed by what Trump seems to be able to get away with and Lance’s utter failure to create distance from him even when he supposedly disagrees with him. I want a congressman who’s going to be a leader. Leonard’s not. I spoke to him in July and told him, ‘I know you don’t disagree with Trump as much as I do but when you do, be more effective.’ He promised he would be, but he hasn’t been. These trying times desperately need that. He’s had more than his fair share of chances. I think the contest leans Malinowski. The Kavanaugh stuff is still playing out. Candidates in blue states will benefit more. Lance has been around and it is demographically a moderate Republican district but this is a year where Democrats should do well in this district. If the Democrats pick up 40 seats, this is one of them. If they pick up 20, it isn’t.” – Dave Pringle, Chief Strategist for Clean Water Action and a 2018 Democratic candidate for Congress in the 7th District.

Joey Novick of Flemington at the barricade.

MALINOWSKI

“The winner? The people of NJ7 and the people of New Jersey will be the winners. Why? Because when Tom Malinowski takes the oath of office in January of 2019, the folks of central Jersey will finally have a representative in Congress with the courage, wisdom, passion, and sanctity to stand-up to Trump and help move America in the right progressive direction.” Democratic Strategist Joey Novick.

From left: Quinones Perez, Palmieri, and Kovach.

MALINOWSKI

“Leonard has had ten years in Congress and has not done anything that has benefited the people of the congressional district. When I ran against him he was proud he voted 60 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Now he’s not. He voted the SALT deduction elimination out of committee. Then voted against it on the floor. I would much rather stick to my values. Leonard has been bullied. I have confidence that Tom will work across the aisle and won’t be bullied. Leonard has been an elected official all his life. Tom has been a public servant, not an elected official. That’s the difference. Much more than ever before, people in both parties are aggravated. My former councilman, a Republican, reached out to me and said, ‘What can I do to get involved?’ I think Tom pulls it out. It’s not a blowout. I’ve never received this much mail. It’s obvious the Republicans and Leonard are worried. What happened with the Supreme Court decision is a true disappointment to many people, who won’t be willing to sit on the sidelines on Election Day. – Clinton Twp. Mayor Janice Kovach, a Democrat who ran against Lance in 2014.

LANCE

“Lance is a moderate. He’s what we need right now to move forward. Right now we need to be more collaborative. I’m concerned his opppnent is somewhat radical. I’m a Republican, and more conservative than Lance, but I just feel he is someone who’s going to cooperate. I feel the man right now is right for the job. I would have said [David] Larsen before but not right now.” Morris County Freeholder Heather Darling.

Operating Overtime: Gaburo.

LANCE

“He actually lives in the district. Let’s be honest. He actually represents the people who live in the district. Malinowski does not. The second Malinowski loses this election he’ll be on a private jet back to Washington. Leonard’s produced for the district and he actually lives in the district.” – Somerset County GOP Chairman Al Gaburo.

LANCE

“I believe Leonard knows his district. Leonard gives 1000 percent to his district. There are very few things in his district that he does not attend, whether it’s an eagle scout ceremony or a parade. And he’s a gentleman. If he disagrees with you, it’s never a matter of swearing or screaming. And he’s honest and ethical and he knows his district because he’s in the district.” Hunterdon County Clerk Mary Melfi.

Florio

LANCE

“Leonard is the district. When you look at the makeup of the district, his issues match the district. His opppnent is emphasizing the unpopularity of the president but when people look at the district and the issues matrix, Leonard matches the district and the issues matrix.” – Princeton Public Affairs Principal Dale Florio, former Somerset County GOP Chairman.

Fahl, left, and Kari Osmond.

MALINOWSKI

“For me, as an incoming mayor of a small town that is a very tiny chunk of CD7, it’s vitally important to have someone who advocates for Lambertville. We’re a tiny postage stamp on earth, but we deeply value the advantage of representation in Congress. Unfortunately, Leonard Lance doesn’t walk the walk. I want someone who walks the walk, and that’s Malinowski. Leonard Lance’s voting record speaks for itself. I don’t want someone who has a 90% voting record with Donald Trump and the Tea Party. Tom has figured out the ground game of talking to people in our district. This is a special district, from Flemington to Summit, and he has people everywhere on the ground knocking on doors. Based on the way he’s running his campaign, I see a guy who is going to put boots on the ground governmentally, to really communicate with the residents of this district and care for their concerns. It’s reflective of the mettle of the candidate. I’ve worked in politics for a really long time, and I’ve told people for some time that field only moves the needle one or two points. But that was before I saw Malinowski’s field team. I think Malinowski wins by more than five points. Over 80% of potential voters participated in the Democratic Primary in Lambertville and we are turning our campaign out in force for the general. All resources engaged. We want to play a part – a vital part – in winning the election for Bob Menendez and Tom Malinowski.” – Julia Fahl, Democratic candidate for mayor of Lambertville.

Doherty and Bateman.

LANCE

“Kim Guadagno won the district last year by 14,000 votes. If Leonard just holds serve – and remember, Guadagno had all the anti-Christie vibe in addition to anti-Trump atmosphere last year – he’ll win. Leonard actually works the district. Leonard’s going to do better than Guadagno.”  – state Senator Mike Doherty (R-23).

Roy Freiman

MALINOWSKI

“I see Tom as a very thoughtful and balanced person. The comments about Leonard Lance being moderate are at best historical and not current reality. If you examine his record its frightening how aligned he is with the president’s values – or lack thereof – mostly on healthcare. When you listen to Malinowski, he’s not running against Trump. It’s not me against Trump, it’s how we get good policies back in the district. That’s what I hear him saying. He’s making this about good policy. I think Malinowski wins this election. Like all elections it comes down to which voters show up. His voters are going to show up. – Assemblyman Roy Freiman (D-16).

Romano

MALINOWSKI

“Tom is a man of great personal integrity and conviction. He is sorely needed in our House of Representatives. I’ve gotten To know Tom over the past eight months and I truly admire him.” – Millburn Democratic Chair Annette Romano.

Roughneen

LANCE

“I think Leonard is good at responding to the needs of his district. He takes care of the pro lifers and he is a fiscally responsible vote. You can rely on him to do what’s necessary. He’s a reliable supporter of our national defense priorities, while Malinowski is an unknown. I think Leonard holds on.” NJ Citizen Soldier Lawyer Tom Roughneen, Iraq War veteran and an opponent of Lance’s in the 2008 Republican Primary.

Corsini

LANCE

“Somewhere in Central Jersey there is a retirement home filled with politicians who have underestimated Leonard Lance. They mistake the fact that he is a gentleman and a scholar for weakness when, in fact, it is his greatest strength. He has earned the trust of the voters of the 7th, one at a time, deliberately and conscientiously, over the decades. On November 7, 2018, that retirement home is going to have one more resident.” – Chris Corsini, Somerset Attorney and former Bridgewater Republican Municipal Chairman.

 

 

 

 

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