Murphy Administration: First 100 Days

Three Major Initiatives Signed into Law, Several Bills On The Governor's Desk Continue reading

Democrats are Party of Fiscal Responsibility

When Paul Ryan and other Republicans call themselves fiscal conservatives, they’re basically doing a version of the old Marx Brothers bit: “Who ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?”   Continue reading


More than 300 Somerset County Democrats voted unanimously to nominate Franklin Deputy Mayor Shanel Robinson and Bernardsville resident and Somerset Hills School Board member Sara Sooy for Somerset County Freeholder. “I’m so proud to have Shanel and Sara representing the Somerset County Democrats as we work to bring Democratic values to the county level,” said SCDC Chair Peg Schaffer. “They are proven elected officials with long records of success they will extend to the county government.” Shanel Robinson is running for the second time, after coming within 1500 votes of winning a seat on the Freeholder Board in 2017. Shanel is an Air Force Veteran, two-term Councilwoman in Franklin Township, Information Technology executive, Christian minister, and grandmother.  She is committed to taking her famous commitment and energy combined with applying what she learned in her previous run to put her over the top in 2018. “Democrats have proven in Franklin and many other Somerset County towns that we can deliver for our residents,” said Robinson. “Sara and I have both delivered positive results for our constituents at the local level, and we’re excited to bring that success to the entire county as Freeholders.” Sara Sooy is a lifelong resident of Bernardsville, and works as a commercial banker. She has served two terms on the Somerset Hills School Board, and is receiving her Executive MBA from Rutgers University in May, 2018. Sooy has also served as a Commissioner on the Somerset County Commission on the Status of Women since 2015. “I am honored to run with Shanel, as we work to bring new voices and ideas to reenergize the Somerset County Freeholder Board,” said Sooy. “As Freeholders, we will take a value-added approach through sustainable investments for the people and businesses of Somerset County.” Anyone interested in volunteering to support the Robinson/Sooy ticket can reach out by calling (908) 953-9300 x33 or emailing [email protected]

Bernardsville Mayor to Finish Current Term and Seek Reelection as a Democrat

BERNARDSVILLE, NJ: Bernardsville Mayor Kevin Sooy has decided to seek reelection to a second four-year term as a member of the Democratic Party and will serve out the remainder of his current term as a Democrat. “I understand that, on its face, this decision may surprise some people,” said Mayor Sooy. “I want to stress that serving and running as a Democrat is consistent with my goals for our town and the issues I want to continue to pursue.”  “We are thrilled to have Mayor Sooy join the growing Democratic movement in Somerset County,” said Somerset County Democratic Chair Peg Schaffer. “He is a committed public servant, and the Democrats welcome Kevin and everyone like him who wants to make a positive difference in Somerset County.” Bernardsville Municipal Democratic Committee chair Bob Frawley confirmed that the mayor has officially changed his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat, and appeared at the committee’s candidate screening on Thursday, March 22. “Mayor Sooy participated in a lengthy, detailed, candid screening process with our members,” said Frawley. “We were all very impressed.  We’re happy to have the mayor on the team, and there’s no question in our minds that we share a vision for the future of Bernardsville and a commitment to a substantive, issue-oriented campaign.” The mayor said, “I am extremely impressed with the way our municipal Democrats have conducted their campaigns, particularly the bipartisan nature, civil tone, and emphasis on proposing workable solutions to problems.”  He added that he is “fully aligned” with the issues Bernardsville Democrats have championed in their last few campaigns, including infrastructure development, recreational facilities, downtown revitalization, open space and walkability, aquifer protection, safe housing in all neighborhoods, and fiscal responsibility. “Our town issues have no party labels,” mayor Sooy said. “They are hometown challenges that affect us all.  I’m looking forward to rolling up my sleeves for another four years and working with like-minded people of all parties and affiliations.” At the party’s candidate screening, members also endorsed Dr. Jeff Hammond for one of two open seats on the Borough Council.  Hammond, a retired trauma surgeon and former founder and chief of the trauma department at Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center, now works in an administrative capacity at Morristown Medical Center.  He is an avid bicyclist, active member in the community, and nearly 30-year resident of Bernardsville.   ###  

Somerset County High School Democrats Call for The Adults to Take Action On Gun And School Safety

For Immediate Release, February 22, 2018 Contact: SCDC Executive Director Nathan Rudy at [email protected], or Jason Lam at [email protected] Bridgewater, NJ – The Somerset County High School Democrats SC HSD) today called on county, state and federal leaders to take common sense action on gun violence in the United States, and in particular on school violence. “The school shooting in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 teachers and students is the 18th this year alone,” said Jason Lam, president of the Somerset NJ High School Democrats. “Any high school student can see that guns are a serious threat to our safety, and it’s shocking that our government is unable to take action.” The SC HSD supports the national movement generated by the response of the Parkland survivors, and will have members participating in the National School Walkout on March 14, 2018 and attending the national March for Our Lives on March 24th in Washington D.C. “Too many times after a mass shooting there is a lot of talk for a week or two, and then the country moves on to other issues. Nothing changes,” said Lam. “This time we students aren’t going to let that happen, and we are going to make sure gun and school safety stay in the public’s eye until we get some action.” In addition to the Washington DC rally, the SC HSD are dedicated to moving gun and school safety forward by electing more Democrats in Somerset County, including two Freeholders, defeating Representative Leonard Lance, and reelecting Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman and Senator Bob Menendez. “The Republican Party has blocked common sense gun regulation for decades, and the only way to ensure there is action is to elect Democratic majorities,” said Lam. “We’re proud to have worked hard to elect Governor Phil Murphy and expand New Jersey’s Democratic majority and will continue to work to build Democratic majorities at every level to ensure action is taken.” For students and their supporters who are unable to travel to DC, the Somerset County High School Democrats, Somerset County Young Democrats and the Somerset County Democratic Committee will be holding the Somerset County March for Our Lives rally in conjunction with the national March on March 24. More information will be available in the coming weeks. “We’re so proud of these young people taking a stand against gun violence, and not letting the adults pass the buck again,” said Peg Schaffer, Somerset County Democratic Chair. “Now it’s up to the adults to actually do something more than offer thoughts and prayers.” The Somerset County High School Democrats have more than 200 members in four Somerset County schools, including Bridgewater High School, Watchung Hills High School, Ridge High School, and the Pingry School. Students and their supporters interested in joining the Organizing Committee for the Somerset County March for Our Lives rally, or in starting a High School Democrats organization in their high school, please contact Jason Lam at [email protected] or Executive Director Nathan Rudy at [email protected] ###

Leonard Lance Ducks Clergy, Has Them Arrested

Yesterday a group of religious leaders went to Congressman Leonard Lance's office and asked to meet with him to discuss the DREAMERS Act, to encourage him to sponsor the bill.   Lance refused to meet with them, despite being in town, and his office called the police when they decided to stay in the office until Lance came back to the office.  Six religious leaders -- including Rabbis Faith Dantowitz and Elliott Tepperman, and United Church of Christ Minister Ann Ralosky -- were arrested by the Westfield police. To quote Donald Trump, Leonard Lance's leader, sad. You can see some videos if you're on Facebook, as well.

Somerset County Dems Endorse Linda Weber

Somerset and Essex Democratic Parties Announce Support for Linda Weber in CD7 Somerville, NJ – Somerset County and Essex County Democratic Chairs Peg Schaffer and LeRoy J. Jones announced today they are awarding Berkeley Heights banker Linda Weber their county lines in the 7th Congressional district primary on June 5, 2018. “We have a lot of great candidates this year, but I am thrilled our Executive Committee voted to support Linda Weber in the primary,” said Schaffer. “As a banker and businesswoman, community leader, and parent she understands the 7th district and is the best candidate to win in November.” The 7th Congressional district is made up of parts of six counties, with Somerset County representing the largest number of Democratic voters.   Essex County became part of the 7th after redistricting in 2011, with Milburn joining at that time. “I spoke to the Milburn Democratic leadership and we agree Linda stands out as the most qualified candidate in a talented but crowded field,” said Jones. “Essex County is pleased to back her in our effort to turn the 7th district blue and take back the House of Representatives.” Traditionally the Somerset County Democratic line is given at a convention at the end of March, but because of the unique environment in 2018 the party’s leadership decided to move the process up. Each candidate was provided with names and contact information of the chairs and county committee members for outreach, and many met individually and in forums with municipal committees. Additionally, the Somerset County Democrats and the Somerset Federation of Democratic Women held a public forum with all seven candidates, and promoted videos of forums in other counties. All municipal chairs asked their committee members to vote, and brought the results to the Executive Committee on January 25th in Somerville.  After going over the results, Schaffer asked for a vote on giving Weber the line and it passed with no opposition. “This has been the most intensive effort to ensure our county committee got to know every candidate, and could make an informed choice on who they preferred,” said Schaffer. “I am pleased with the extra effort we took this year to get to know the candidates, and that it resulted in such an excellent candidate as Linda Weber.”    

Som Dems and SCFDW Sponsor CD7 Forum

The communities comprising the 7th Congressional District are lucky this year to have seven solid candidates vying to be our nominee.  In an effort to ensure all our county committee members and the general public has a chance to hear from the candidates, the Somerset County Democratic Committee and the Somerset County Federation of Democratic Women held a forum with all the candidates at the Somerville Elks. View the full video under Continue Reading.   Continue reading

Closing Down 2017

Here's a video and picture of the closing of our office.