MADISON – It was a perfect late July evening when Madison Democrats gathered in the backyard of Ann and Herm Huber’s historic Maple Avenue home for their annual summer social. Unlike last year, when the Democrats had to settle on a pandemic-mandated virtual event, everyone got to celebrate together in-person on the 24th.
Also, different from 2020, Democratic Councilwoman Debra Coen of Hoyt Street and Board of Health President Eric Range of Belleau Avenue are running unopposed in their campaign for the Madison Borough Council. Coen is running for a second term and Range is running for his first term on the council. No Madison Republican filed for election in the June primary and no Republican received enough write-in votes to qualify for a spot on the November 2nd ballot.
Madison Democratic Committee’s 2021 focus has therefore been on rallying local support for the critical up-ticket races of Governor Phil Murphy, State Senator Dick Codey, Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, Assemblyman John McKeon and for the Democratic candidates for the Morris County Commission: T. C. McCourt of Dover, A. J. Oliver of Morristown, and Dina Mikulka of Mlne Hill.
T. C. McCourt is Secretary of the Morris County Heritage Commission and serves on the Dover Planning Commission. A. J. Oliver is a 17-year U.S. Army veteran and a 27-year Morris County resident. He serves as a Morristown Environmental and Shade Tree Commissioner and is Chairman of the Morristown Democratic Committee. Dina Mikulka is a matrimonial and family law attorney and a former New jersey Deputy Attorney General. She also served on the Mine Hill Board of Education from 2016 to 2019.
After thanking Ann and Herm Huber for being gracious summertime hosts, Mayor Conley thanked outgoing Councilwoman Astri Baillie for her 18 years of distinguished service on the Madison Borough Council and her continued dedication to the citizens of Madison.
The mayor then emphasized the importance of electing McCourt, Oliver, and Mikulka to the Morris County Commission. Conley pointed to the lack of leadership of the current commissioners in resolving the chronic traffic problems at the intersections of Park Avenue, Columbia Turnpike and Route 24. He also criticized their ineffective response to Covid-19 and their “culture war” resolution on naming holidays.
Candidates Oliver and McCourt added that the current commissioners spoke out in opposition to the governor’s popular vote-by-mail plans for the 2020 elections. They also criticized the commissioners ill-advised call for “opening up” of the county in the spring of 2020 – during the height of the killer pandemic’s first wave in New Jersey. As McCourt observed: “The mayor says we need new leadership on the Board of Commissioners. The three of us disagree. We need leadership – full stop.”
Madison Democrats are looking forward to a planned kick-off picnic in September and a return to Madison’s Bottle Hill Day on October 2.