LETTER: Vital for Madison voters to support state, local Democratic candidates

TO THE EDITOR: This year’s election is critical: the entire New Jersey state Legislature – all 40 state senators and 80 members of the State Assembly – are up for election.

Since the Dobbs decision in 2022, which resulted in state legislatures enacting laws that limit abortion rights, we’ve all seen just how much power state governments have.

New Jersey is thought of as being reliably blue, but in reality the Democrats are at risk of losing the legislature unless everyone exercises their right to vote on November 7.

The effect that could have on reproductive rights, gun rights, LGBTQ+ rights, climate action, and even voting rights, among other issues, is devastating.

Due to recent redistricting, towns like Madison are at serious risk of falling under control of some of the most right-wing representatives if we don’t vote. Running on the GOP ticket to represent Madison is State Sen. Anthony Bucco and Assembly members Aura Dunn and Christian Barranco.

These three legislators are extremely far right – Bucco wants to ban abortion and jail abortion providers; he has voted against establishing gun-free zones around schools (he gets a perfect rating from the NRA); and he is a primary sponsor of the NJ version of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, just to name a few key issues. Dunn and Barranco vote right along with Bucco. Can you imagine these three being Madison’s representatives?

But the good news is that we have an excellent alternative with Christine Clarke running for state senate and Dr. Jonathan Torres and Madison resident Diane Salvatore on the ballot for state assembly.

Christine is a champion to combat climate change who is absolutely tireless in her advocacy for women’s reproductive freedom, gun safety, LGBTQ+ rights, and working families.

Jon is a family physician from Randolph who advocates for making healthcare affordable. Diane, who has had a long career in publishing, is focused on making New Jersey a great state for people to retire to and for seniors to thrive in. I have spoken with all three candidates many times and think they would be incredible additions to our state legislature.

I urge everyone to vote this year to ensure Madison’s representatives in the state legislature reflect our values. You can vote three ways:

• Vote by Mail (return your ballot by Nov 7 in the dropbox in the parking lot at 62 Kings Rd)

• Early Voting (in person at Hartley Dodge, 50 Kings Road, from Oct. 28 to Nov. 5)

• Election Day (in person at your polling place on Tuesday, Nov. 7)

As the co-chair of the Madison Democratic Committee, I will also say that I am thrilled to be supporting Bob Conley for mayor – (for his fourth term!  and Bob Landrigan, John Forte, and Melissa Honohan for council.

I can’t imagine a better ticket. All four candidates are dedicated to Madison in ways that should warm every resident’s heart and have so much experience in running our wonderful town. I’m so proud to have already voted by mail for them!

For more information on the Madison Borough Council candidates, go here: madisonnjdems.com.