To set the record straight, I wanted to take the opportunity to explain what occurred in the 2-6 Democratic City Committee race where my petition was removed and replaced with Assemblyman Jerry Green's petition as the male 2-6 candidate in the June 6 primary. On March 25, my running mate Jeanette Criscione and I filed our notarized petitions for re-election as the male and female candidates for the Democratic City Committee in the 2-6.
As a reminder, in 2016, I was appointed by Mayor Mapp to fill out the 2-6 male term that became available when an apartment fire caused the male 2-6 member David Rutherford to relocate his home out of 2-6.
After our petitions were filed on March 25, the Mayor called me and told me that he had been in touch with Assemblyman Jerry Green who said Mr. Green wanted the 2-6 male seat for himself and that the Mayor should secure this for him and have me step aside.
The Mayor told me that he was deeply saddened by Mr. Green’s request but had no choice but to ask me to step aside and let Mr. Green have the seat – thus his name and not mine would appear on the ballot. How this squared with my signed petition and that of Jeanette Criscione’s filed hours earlier was unclear to me and even now I am not sure who physically removed it. What was clear to me based on the phone call was that my petition was being removed or voided or both – in order to accommodate Assemblyman Green to make way for him to submit his own petition in time for the April 3 filing deadline. I should also add that after this move my running mate Jeanette Criscione gathered signatures on a second petition of her own fearing that the first petition having both of our names on it would be considered invalid.
It is important to state that I took the Mayor at his word (and still do) that this was a difficult and sad move that he needed to take. My wife and I have been staunch supporters of the Mayor and his team for many years – and consider him, his wife and family, friends.
While I could fill up this blog post with many reasons why I find this move by both the Mayor and Assemblyman as troublesome and unfair, I choose not to do this. However, I can tell you that this decision has upset many of my neighbors and friends not only in the 2-6 but across the City of Plainfield. Despite this, my wife Libby and I continue to support the reelection of Mayor Mapp and his running mates Joylette E. Mills-Ransome and Steve Hockaday because we believe they will continue to make the important strides we need to move Plainfield forward.
I also want to make it clear that I have not mounted any formal write-in campaign. If my neighbors and friends choose to do this, I am deeply honored and if I should win through such an effort, I am happy to serve.
On a final note, I have on many occasions both on your blog and in public, voiced my concern over the tone of politics in Plainfield and the lack of civility and respect we show each other when expressing our hopes and desires for a better Plainfield. I am convinced that side deals will only continue to erode our already fractured and fragile system. I am taking the opportunity of what has transpired with me these past few weeks, to once again ask for a more civil political discourse where we honor and respect differences as a bridge to a better future for all of our citizens.
Thank you for all you do and allowing me space on your blog.