“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” - President John F. Kennedy
Recently I've been asked by a number of people why I decided to submit a Nomination by Petition for candidacy in Freehold Borough's upcoming Democratic Primary election this June. At first I was somewhat surprised by the question. I mean to say that I'm a Democrat, I consider myself civically active in town, and I meet the legal requirements (i.e. I'm over 18, I'm a US citizen, and I live in Freehold Borough) to fill out the required documentation. But then I came to realize it was more than that.
The truth is there hasn't been an unsolicited nomination petition for the Democratic ticket in Freehold Borough since the early 1980's. Unlike Freehold Township, Howell, Manalapan, Marlboro, Matawan, Colts Neck, Red Bank, Middletown, Little Silver, Oceanport, Long Branch, Holmdel, Rumson, Keyport, Bradley Beach, Atlantic Highlands, Eatontown, Shrewsbury, Farmingdale, Millstone, Lincroft, Ocean Township, Neptune, Belmar, Monmouth Beach, Sea Bright, Manasquan, Deal, Englishtown, Keansburg, Tinton Falls, or Asbury Park - it's just not how things are done here in Freehold Borough.
Well that doesn't sit well with me. As veteran who spent a year of his life serving our country in a warzone to prove to the world that a democratic form of government can and does work, it's now my turn to participate in the process – and nobody is going to prevent democracy from happening in my very own backyard on my watch.
I believe people should be judged based on their qualifications and not their last name. I believe people should be judged by the merit of their ideas and not by who they know. I believe seniority should be valued, but new ideas and fresh perspectives should be valued just as much.
So this June 5th residents of Freehold Borough will be faced with a choice they've not had in almost 30 years. And while I had hoped to gain the endorsement of our town's Democratic leadership, I believe the support of all eligible voters is the most important endorsement I can ask for since ultimately they should decide who represents their party this November.
That's democracy at it’s finest.