The following article was submitted by Peter Wolanin, muncipal chair of the Princeton Borough Democratic Committee.
Many Princeton voters haven't realized that, thanks to last year's redistricting of Princeton into the state's 16th legislative district, three Republicans represent us in the state legislature. Due to the death of Assemblyman Peter Biondi, there is a special election this year to fill the second year in his Assembly seat. Princeton's own Sue Nemeth has been working to secure the Democratic nomination in the race since last November. Nemeth was raised in Somerset County, and lived in Middlesex County prior to moving to Princeton, so has spent her life in 3 of the 4 counties that are now included in the 16th district. This would be a real advantage in being able to connect with the voters across the 16th District in the fall election.
Nemeth began her public service career with New Jersey Citizen Action, where she organized a statewide coalition of women’s advocates to lobby for path-breaking family and medical leave legislation and led a successful campaign to contest a public utility rate hike. Nemeth was also one of the statewide organizers who worked to get The New Jersey Worker and Community Right to Know Act passed. This law requires companies to disclose toxic releases and mandates easy-to-understand labeling and fact sheets on toxic chemicals so that both workers and emergency responders can protect themselves.
For two decades, Nemeth has worked at Rutgers University at the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) as a public relations specialist. At CAWP, Nemeth has helped develop regional and national non-partisan programs to educate, train, and promote women’s political participation in government. Nemeth is also an active member of the American Federation of Teacher's union at Rutgers.
One source of Nemeth's passionate drive around political involvement and protection of working people comes from her own family history. Her parents came to New Jersey in 1956 as refugees seeking political freedom in the wake of the Soviet military suppression of the Hungarian uprising. Nemeth experienced first hand the struggles of her family to get by, yet also saw the importance of education and eventually put herself through college and the mini-MBA program at Rutgers.
In Princeton, Nemeth got involved in local politics as the Democratic Committeewoman for her voting district. After working to help other women get elected, Nemeth took the plunge herself in 2008 and was elected to a three-year term on Princeton Township Committee. In January 2011, the Committee elected her Deputy Mayor. She was a champion of the Princeton consolidation effort over the course of her time in office, from the effort to get consolidation considered by forming a study commission, to helping put it on the ballot, to finally campaigning door-to-door in Princeton Township in support of the ballot question.
The Democratic nomination will be decided in the primary on Tuesday, June 5th. For more information see the campaign site here. Recent press coverage of the 16th District race includes an article on NJ Sptlight and Politicker.