Sunday, September 18 was a beautiful late-summer day in Madison. It was a perfect afternoon for a picnic, as Councilmember Rachel Ehrlich of Kings Road and Madison volunteer Tom Haralampoudis officially kicked off their 2022 general election campaign for seats on the Madison Borough Council.
Enthusiastic campaign supporters were joined by Mayor Bob Conley, Councilmembers John Hoover, Eric Range, Maureen Byrne, and Debra Coen, NJ 11th Congressional Representative Mikie Sherrill, and Democratic candidates for Morris County Commission: Mt. Olive Library Trustee Alicia Sharma, Dover Planning Board Member T.C. McCourt, and Parsippany Green Team Member Judith Hernandez.
Representative Sherrill was the keynote speaker. Expressing optimism about the upcoming election, she observed: “We’re in such a great spot right now because we passed legislation that the American people care so deeply about. We’ve done things like invest in our environment, making sure that we’re moving into a new generation of electric cars and new ways of powering, like offshore wind. This will drive down energy costs for families. We have now capped out-of-pocket prescriptions costs for seniors at $2,000, and now Medicare will be able to negotiate prescription drug prices, which will certainly drive down those costs”
What has really given us wind under our wings as a party is all the great Democratic candidates we are putting forward up and down the ticket,” she concluded. “And Madison is no exception with Rachel and Tom running. Here in New Jersey, it really matters who’s running your town. Madison is called ‘the best place to live in’ for so many reasons, but they all start and end with a fantastic local government.”
Mayor Conley noted that Tom Haralampoudis is running because Councilmember Maureen Byrne is, as she said, “not disappearing, but is stepping down from the council.” The mayor complimented Byrne for her demonstrated sense of caring: “If there is a need, she answers the call.”
Mayor Conley continued: “Rachel is running for re-election. We had the pleasure of running together three years ago, and I had the previous pleasure of putting her on the Planning Board and seeing what a great resource she is for Madison. The last three years have been incredible.”
“She is leading the charge,” he said. “As we know our earth is in danger, and we can’t use the excuse as has been suggested ‘that well China and India are not doing anything, why should the U.S. do anything?’ We need to do something at the local level to create change; that’s how it works. Rachel is making that happen, and we truly appreciate her dedication to that effort.”
The mayor described candidate Haralampoudis as:” a longtime friend. He is a Rotarian who lives that line of ‘service above self.’ When Tom sees a need, he responds, like collecting coats in the wintertime for those in need or ensuring there is a sports program at the Junior School.”
Candidate Haralampoudis thanked everyone for their support and for attending the event. Climate action is huge, he observed. “I live that in my own life – the same things we are trying to promote in Madison. I have solar at my office and geothermal in my house. It’s going to be a big part of our mission.”
The candidate continued, “I will also be helping anywhere else I am needed. I will be bringing my extensive business experience and my experience on the Board of Education and half a dozen borough committees to the position. I have shown that I know how to make things happen.”
Rachel Ehrlich stated that “I am running because I see that we have a beautiful, desirable, well-managed, successful town, and those very characteristics are propelling us into the future. Madison is attracting new families and new businesses, and we need a vision that is forward-looking, that preserves the best features of Madison – our downtown, our open spaces, our community bonds, our growing diversity, and our safe and healthy community.
To help shape that vision, I have served on the Planning Board, on the Master Plan Steering Committee, and the design committee for Affordable Housing – all because I look to the future with clear eyes and a desire to do good and work hard. We are moving forward together.”
“Thanks to prudent planning and sound budgets of past councils, Madison came out strong after the storm of COVID,” Ehrlich continued. ‘But we are now preparing to face some extraordinary challenges in the coming years. Fiscal challenges to our tax base, legal challenges to our excellent affordable housing plan, conservation challenges to our open spaces and tree canopy, and traffic safety challenges in our neighborhoods and the heart of our downtown.
As we look to next year and beyond, we need a hardworking, visionary council that will address these challenges and moderate the pressures of development, guiding and shaping these external forces – and inevitable changes – towards an equitable, safe, healthy future in Madison.”
Ehrlich and Haralampoudis are out canvassing every weekend, meeting and speaking with Madison voters on these and other issues in the coming weeks. For more information on the Democratic candidates for Madison Borough Council and non-partisan voter information, please visit www.madisonnjdems.com or drop by the MDC booth in front of Chase Bank on Bottle Hill Day. For more information on the Democratic candidates for Morris County Commission, please visit www.morris2022.com.
Madison Borough Council member Rachel Ehrlich and NJ 11th Representative Mikie Sherrill, both of whom are running for re-election, are joined by Ehrlich’s running mate, Madison volunteer Tom Haralampoudis and Mayor Bob Conley at the Madison Democrats kickoff picnic held at the Haralampoudis home. Also attending were Democratic candidates for Morris County Commission: Alicia Sharma, T.C. McCourt, and Judith Hernandez.