PHILADELPHIA – On the Chamber Train earlier today, Dave Pringle, the environmental activist running for Congress in the 7th District, alighted in Car 11.
He hasn’t snagged any party lies, but he wasn’t deflated.
He has a pathway, the Democrat said, and he believes his advantages will shine through over the course of a long slog primary.
“Clearly it would have been better to get in earlier but in many ways everyone else is in way later than I am,” Pringle told InsiderNJ. “I have been fighting the fights for years.”
Some of the other people in the race jumped to attention only after Donald J. Trump became president, he argues.
“All the candidates might have been doing good things, but I’ve been fighting that fight on the environment and fair taxes and good jobs,” said Pringle. “The biggest difference is that for 30 years I have been fighting and winning and winning on the issues they say they’ve been fighting.”
As Berkeley banker Linda Weber – the early favorite in the Democratic tilt to replace U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7) – has struggled after getting early organizational support in Somerset and Essex counties, former Assistant Secretary of State Tom Malinowski appears to have significant momentum, both in terms of fundraising and organization.
But Pringle said Malinowski will always have the disadvantage of not having lived or paid taxes in the district.
“I don’t have to spend two million dollars telling people where I live,” he told InsiderNJ, seated on the Chamber Train as it coasted toward D.C.
“Democrats should support the candidate with the best chance to win who best represents their values, who can hit the ground running in Congress next year,” he added. “I clear all three of those bars. You don’t need opposition research to recognize how long somebody has lived in the district, where they last lived in New Jersey, and where they lived when they did. He [Malinowski] needs to raise a lot of money because he has a lot of explaining to do. The Beltway and Princeton are awesome – I graduated from Princeton – but Princeton and the Beltway not the 7th Congressional District.”
Where does he see the biggest difference between himself and incumbent Lance?
“The biggest difference is that he enables the existential threat that Donald Trump is and even when there is minimal level of disagreement he fails to fight,” said Pringle. “He fails to lead and often he flip flops.”
The candidate said he is thankful for primaries, underscoring what he said will be his effort to reach real voters after the convention process ends.
“The Democrats and unaffiliated voters get to decide who the Democratic candidate is, not county bosses and Democratic insiders,” Pringle said. “I really look forward to talking to the rank and file.”
Union County remains to be decided, and it looks like a contest between Malinowski and Weber.
“I think predicting the Union County decision is kind of like predicting Trump’s next move,” said the congressional candidate. “The process has been very poor.
“The most important thing is to have a strong unified party, but the likeliest reason that won’t happen is if candidates and their followers feel they weren’t given a fair shot,” Pringle added. “It’s a cause for concern. So I would rather have every single line, of course, but there is a path to victory with no lines.”