All across the county, Americans will go to the polls tomorrow to exercise our constitutional responsibility to voice our opinion and select our leaders. For the most part, the general elections are local affairs, from my dad's first contested race in over 30 years of politics to town councils and state house elections that are the true grass roots of our political culture.
In my new home town, we have been consumed lately by allegations that our Republican mayor, Chris Myers has some skeletons in his closet and is now essentially being blackmailed by a man he paid for sex while on a business trip. Signs like the one to the left have appeared all over town. It's inflamed the community and the media, but really won't have much effect on politics here as no Democrat bothered to run for anything this year. It's not as though there aren't some serious issues facing the community. Sigh.
Due to the NJ politicos making deals to protect themselves, there are not really any serious races for the state house in Trenton. Only three races are expected to be remotely close. I love how Trneton really enpowered people with these new districts!
In Burlington County, the Freeholder election is the most important, but the Surrogate race is certainly the most colorful. I have no idea what's going on with former Dem turned Republican George Kotch and Medford Lawyer Sander Friedman, who are vying for the Surrogate post, but I sure wish I had a third choice. Just reading about this stuff makes me want to take a shower. The race is a big ekough deal for the Republicans that I caught a TV attack ad against Friedman that ran this weekend on cable. Pretty big spending for a seemingly useless post.
The Freeholder race pits the lone Democrat on the board, Mary Anne Reinhart and her running mate Machell Still-Pettis against the Burlington County GOP's slate of newcomers, Leah Arter and Joe Howarth in the heavily Republican-represented county. While control of the Board is not at stake, the race is big enough that the county's big boys have bought TV time in this race too, really smacking Reinhart pretty hard.
The Republicans have a lot of negative material to work with, as the Shamong Dem wrangled with the sheriff last week, while managing the most tepid newspaper endorsement I have ever seen. When people who are supporting you say that you 'need to try a different approach if re-elected,' I think there are some issues with your candidacy. I've met Ms. Reinhart and found her violently confrontational approach distasteful and over the top. I'll be voting the other way on this one.
Finally, in Cherry Hill, my friend and fellow Cabrini alum Steve Buividas is running for mayor. I know very little of the issues or politics in this race, but I can tell you that I know Steve and he is a good person and will be an honest and strong mayor.
Whomever you support, I urge you to go to the polls tomorrow. It's what our democracy is built on and it's the only direct way he have to make our choices known. If you don't go out to vote tomorrow, I don't want to hear your complaining when things don't get done the way you want them to get done.