Malinowski Campaign Shuts down the Block in Summit Where Hugin Lives

SOMERVILLE – CD-7 Democratic challenger Tom Malinowski delivered strong medicine to the Republican Party, President Donald J. Trump and incumbent U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7) this evening as he looks to transform visible district opposition to Trump into a Lance loss on Tuesday.

Tunnels between New Jersey and New York, not walls on the Southern Border, said the Democrat, who in a stirring speech with three days to go even found a way to kick oratorical sand in the face of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bob Hugin.

The campaign looks strong, the headquarters of the Somerset County Democratic Committee packed to overflowing as Malinowski addressed the crowd.

A thousand people showed up earlier today in Summit for a campaign canvas launch at the Essex Road home of former LD21 candidate Lacey Rzeszowski (who lost to Assemblyman Jon Bramnick last year by 2,567 votes), he said.

“So many people came it shut down the block that Bob Hugin lives on and somebody called the cops,” said the Democrat. “There were so many people and they came and directed traffic to help us out.”

The event did get the attention of the GOP. A source at the earlier Somerset Republican event fumed about the incident, irritated by the inconvenience caused those close to Hugin.

It was all but a punch line here amid blue throngs.

Campaign allies knocked on almost 100,000 doors today, Malinowski said.

In a larger sense, it was maybe a little ironic.

Hugin’s opponent, incumbent U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) supposedly hurts Malinowski in his battleground districtwide tilt with Lance. They aren’t tight allies.

But based on the massive outpouring of ground game support for the CD-7 challenger in this fiercely contested district, “This may put Bob over the top,” said a grinning Joe DeMarco, one of hundreds of people jammed into the Main Street HQ, among them Governor Phil Murphy, U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12), Assemblywoman Linda Carter (D-22), Somerset County Democratic Committee Chair Peg Schaffer,and Malinowski Campaign Manager Colston Reid, who received two big rounds of applause.

It was always going to come down to Somerset, which last year sprang a clerk into office but failed to secure the freeholders seats in a longtime GOP county now teetering in these Trump sulfuric times. Schaffer regaled the crowd here with a red meat story about a conversation she said she had once with Lance, who told her she’d never find anyone who would be able to beat him in the 7th District. Boos and jeered rained.

“We’ll get to him in a minute,” the chair said of her candidate.

And so as promised, moments later, a poised Malinowski straddled a pair of chairs and ascended over the crowd.

“The eyes of the world are on us,” said the former assistant secretary of state. “Look at the closing argument of the other side. If you were them, what would go with? The economy? The economy’s doing pretty well overall.”
“Because of President Obama,” someone yelled.
“Thank you, President Obama,” Malinowski assented.
But they didn’t go with ideas or issues, he argued, referring to the GOP.

“They went with fear; they went with demonizing a couple thousand of poor people in Honduras, calling

DeMarco, in gear.

them an invasion, saying those people thousands of miles from New Jersey are coming to New Jersey; give us a break,” Malinowski said.

“We could ignore it, but a week ago a man walked into a synagogue in Pittsburgh believing the Jews were funding that caravan to invade the United States – this stuff is serious, a day after the largest attempted assassination of American leaders since the day Lincoln was shot. That is their closing message, people. This is who they are. [Lance] has done absolutely nothing to stand up against it. His only function in the United States Congress is to empower the people who are doing that to us. That’s why he’s got to go, and that’s why we need a Democratic Congress. Hatred. Fear. If you win an election with that, it will confirm your belief that is the way to run this country. We will come right back at them with our patriotism.”

An animated Murphy with the mic in his hand chipped in some more high energy.

He got a rousing applause from a progressive crowd that stuck with him through his galvanizing speech.

“This county’s coming our way in a big way,” Murphy crowed.



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