Six Candidates Team Up for Joint Campaign: Three Others on Their Own
On Primary Day, June 5, voters will cast their votes for six members of the new Princeton Council for the consolidated community.
Six of the nine Democratic candidates for Princeton Council have teamed together to conduct joint mailings, fundraising and advertising.
The six candidates are those endorsed by Princeton Township and Borough democratic committees on March 26: Jo Butler, Jenny Crumiller, Heather Howard, Lance Liverman, Bernie Miller and Patrick Simon.
Butler, Crumiller and Howard are members of Borough Council. Liverman and Miller are members of Township Committee. Simon is a newcomer who served on the Joint Shared Services and Consolidation Commission.
“Obviously pooling our resources is an advantage and working together as a team is an advantage,” Crumiller said. “We’re all supporting each other and will do a fundraiser and a mailing and probably newspaper ads, the usual things candidates do.”
The group’s first fundraiser will be Saturday.
I think it means, we’ll have a joint campaign set up, we’ll take pictures together, do fundraisers together,” Liverman said “That doesn’t mean that we can’t support other people who are not on that team.”
The team of six may benefit from an organized effort and better use of resources but there are still three other council candidates who are left to run their own campaigns: Roger Martindell, Tamara Matteo and Scott Sillars.
“Because there are so many candidates running, it’s harder financially to get support and there are only so many volunteers,” Matteo said. “So when six people can combine their resources together, it makes a difference. It’s disappointing, but it’s politics I guess.”
Still, she believes the six’s effort is more about pooling resources than any attempt to exclude the other candidates.
“The community has been very, very supportive, the committee members have been very supportive” she said. “Being new to politics, everything is an uphill battle, learning all the ins and out, so it’s more of a disappointment than anything else.”
Sillars said he wonders why the six joined together.
“I don’t understand the motivation of some of the candidates why they decided to join,” he said. “I think citizens of Princeton looking for more change than that slate represents.”
He thinks their decision may help to differentiate his own candidacy, which includes being chairman of the Township’s citizen’s finance committee and a background in financial management.
Martindell said he understands the benefit of the six candidates pooling resources, but he’s not worried.
"Any time that a group of people backed by the organization gets together, they have substantially more resources than others and it makes their life easier," he said. "But I’m confident that the Democratic primary voters also think there is value in voices that are not just organization voices but are more open, more creative, more challenging of the status quo, more working for the little guy and I intend to continue to my candidacy in a more open, freethinking, less regimented and monolithic way for the benefit of Princeton Democrats.”
Liverman said the six candidates are not trying to slight the other three council candidates in any way.
“It’s not that we’re doing this to shun them away, it’s to have a uniform outlook,” Liverman said.
Walter Bliss, the campaign manager for the team of six, said all nine candidates competed for the opportunity to run under the banner of the Democratic organization.
“These six candidates were the ones selected for that honor and selected through an open Democratic process and they were a natural team,” Bliss said.
The Borough and Township Democratic Committees voted to endorse Howard, Miller, Liverman, Simon, Crumiller and Butler for council on March 26. In addition Sillars and Matteo were recommended to appear in the column, but without the regular Democratic party slogan.
“I think they're (the six candidates) a great team of people and stand for a great promise what people want, our public officials working together, consolidation will demand that kind of teamwork,” Bliss said.