ANDOVER TOWNSHIP, NJ - A standing room only crowd gathered on Saturday afternoon representing the Sussex County Democratic Committee, at American Legion Post 86, to hear from their senatorial and assembly candidates, and a potential runner against Republican incumbent Congressman Scott Garrett (NJ-5), as well as to close the afternoon to declare their backing of gubernatorial candidate, New Jersey State Senator Barbara Buono (D-18).
Andrew Maguire, a congressman from 1975 to 1981 from New Jersey District 7, was a speaker, and said he may plan to be a contender for Garrett.
"I'm seriously considering doing so again," Maguire told the crowd. "Here in Northern New Jersey, Scott Garrett is the problem."
Maguire said he felt Garrett does not work in a bipartisan way to solve problems, and described him as "invisible and aloof." He said Garrett works against: out of work Americans, equal pay and work for women, education, and environmental stewardship.
"Now is the time to end the pretense, the negativism, that undercuts our families, and our national future," Maguire said.
Among his accolades, Maguire said while in Congress he introduced flood legislation, wrote the Clean Air Act, created amendments to the National Cancer Act, and launched the first congressional ethics investigation.
"I will not be a 'no' congressman like Scott Garrett," said Maguire. "It's much easier to do the work, than say, 'no.' We must say 'no' to Scott Garrett, and 'yes,' to the truth."
Buono had planned to attend the event, however, Ed Selby, Executive Director of the Sussex County Democratic Committee, announced Buono was stuck in traffic on the Turnpike in the same spot for 45 minutes while on her way to the event. Buono's absence, however, did not stop the group from nominating her as their choice for New Jersey's next Governor.
Leslie Huhn gave the first endorsement, indicating how Buono has been an inspiration to her, with parallel childhood experiences, and similar backgrounds. Huhn said when schools lost state aid in 2010, in what has been coined as "The St. Patrick's Day Massacre," Buono was a legislator who reached back to her, and, described Buono as a "fighter for public education."
Williams gave the second nomination for Buono, and said Buono is a "friend of Sussex County," and how disappointed she knew Buono was about missing the convention.
Williams described Buono as petite and soft spoken, and drew contrasts between Buono, and Governor Chris Christie.
"There's such a contrast, people will be drawn," Williams said.
She thinks of Buono as reasonable, and Christie as forceful.
"When reason fails, force prevails," Williams said. "I don't want to seem like I'm bullied."
Williams further explained the contrast she sees between Buono, and Christie," Some mistake kindness for weakness. People may stomp on you if you're kind, but you're not weak. It takes strength to be a kind person. We have felt overbearing, we have felt what it's like to be stepped on. I would like to say, 'Governor Buono,' and we're going to fight for that."
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