Princeton Democratic Municipal Committee Makes Recommendations About Ballot Placement for Council Candidates
The Princeton Democratic Municipal Committee met Tuesday night to interview council candidates and make recommendations on ballot placement for the primary election in June.
Four candidates are seeking two three-year terms on the Princeton Council: Incumbent Councilwoman Jenny Crumiller, Tim Quinn, Letitia Fraga, and Anne Neumann.
Peter Wolanin, chairman of the municipal committee, said a subcommittee did some background research on the candidates and formally received the results of the Princeton Community Democratic Organization’s recent endorsement vote.
A vote was held by secret ballot Tuesday night and each committee member could vote for up to two candidates. Thirty-three committee members voted.
Crumiller came in first place with 23 votes, Quinn came in second place with 17 votes, Fraga came in third place with 16 votes, and Neumann came in fourth place with nine votes.
The municipal chair will recommend to the county Democratic chair that the top two vote-getters, Crumiller and Quinn, be awarded the slogan “Regular Democratic Organization” (or another slogan designated by the Mercer County Democratic Chair) on the ballot, and that all candidates be placed in the column in order by vote total.
“Over the past 3-plus years, the municipal committee has debated and moved towards a more open column to allow all the well-qualified Democratic candidates to compete for support from the voters in the actual primary election on a more level playing field,” Wolanin said in an email. “In the past in both the Borough and Township candidates were regularly excluded from the column, and this is still the practice in almost all other towns in New Jersey.”
Wolanin said the municipal committee vote is not an endorsement. “We leave that to the Princeton Community Democratic Organization,” he said, adding that the slogan shows which candidates have the support of the county Democratic organization
Crumiller and Quinn were also the top two vote getters at the Princeton Community Democratic Organization’s endorsement meeting on Sunday.
I am reminded of the elite superdelegates system for the presidential campaigns which seems counterintuitive of democracy principals. I do understand that we sort of have what is called a representative democracy however the utilization of superdelegates and unelected committees just happens to rub me the wrong way today. Let’s talk about this please.
In each voting district, GOP voters and Dems elect the municipal committee members ( one man and one woman per district). There are often vacancies, however, and then those vacancies are filled by appointing people.
Krystal, Do you know how the superdelegates are chosen for the Democratic party in the presidential election? My understanding is that the Republicans do not have superdelegates. I understand the wisdom of having people with experience in politics weigh in on candidate choices, but this year it seems to have gone too far — as the Democratic candidate was seen as predetermined because she obtained most of the superdelegate endorsements before the primary voting even started. This ordainment and the prediction of who could beat the Republicans (hard to predict the future!) was used to preempt the democractic process governing the choice of the Democratic nominee for President by primary voters.
Time for citizens of Princeton to demand non-partisan municipal elections. Our mayoral elections are now (very intentionally) held in Presidential years and whoever’s in with the cool kids in the local dues-paid Democratic club will win because (thankfully) Princeton votes Democratic in Presidential elections and muni candidates just coat-tail right in on the straight ticket votes of Princeton U students and many others who aren’t quite as focused in on the nuances of direction in local/town policies. I’m glad we are a Democratic town and that most of my neighbors and families of my children’s school mates are voting for Democratic Presidential, Senate and Gubernatorial candidates, but the result of partisan muni elections is that elected Democratic muni officials are not held accountable to Princeton residents as much as they are accountable to whoever helps them win within the local Democratic club. And it shows. Time for non-partisan municipal elections.
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