Election 2013 Meet the Candidates Series Continues for the Week of July 7, 2013
In my efforts to introduce candidates to the voting public, I started a weekly column called Meet the Candidates. In essence, Save Jerseyans, it is a past day stump speech updated for the virtual world.
For this week’s column, I am honored to introduce to you to John Campbell who is running for New Jersey General Assembly in the 22nd District which includes Plainfield, Linden, Rahway, Fanwood, Scotch Plains, Dunellen, Middlesex Borough, North Plainfield, Clark, Winfield Park and Greenbrook.
Born on March 20, 1989, John had a humble upraising in Plainfield, NJ and then went on to become a college graduate from Babson College in Wellesley, MA. After college, John returned to Plainfield to help his family run their real estate firm which he still continues to do to this day.
My interview with Assembly Candidate John Campbell is below the fold…
Sanders: What are your greatest legislative or personal accomplishments thus far?
Campbell: Starting my first business at the age of 19 while attending college in Boston full time. It was the most challenging moment of my life and a process that forced me to grow up rather quickly. The most significant takeaway for me as an entrepreneur is the ability to diagnose problems and provide practical solutions. I would like to parley these strengths from incubating businesses into the legislature.
Sanders: Your father was a Republican elected official. What has your dad taught you that you will use during the course of your campaign and beyond?
Campbell: That there is a way to reach across the aisle without sacrificing your moral compass. This is particularly important in a city (Plainfield) that has leaned Democrat for the past 20 years.
I also learned the importance of the term “pay it forward” from him. When my father served on the Plainfield City Council, he donated his pay to graduating PHS seniors in the form of college scholarships. I had my first function a few months back and the caterer that we used is actually a local small business owner who received a college scholarship from my dad when he served on the council.
Sanders: Part of your district includes the city of Plainfield. Plainfield is known for its high crime rates. With that being said, do you believe tighter gun control will help or hurt Plainfield? Why do you feel that way?
Campbell: I feel as though a lot of individuals who resort to violence do so because there are too few alternatives. I don’t necessarily think that tighter gun control would help. There must be viable alternatives to street life and more mentors to help expose these troubled individuals to greater opportunities. We must also stress the importance of education. A recent study indicated that there are more African American men in jail then there are in college – an alarming statistic that must be reversed.
Sanders: If your constituents wanted to reach out to you and ask you questions about your positions or how to volunteer, whom can they reach out to?
Sanders: In a short statement, please advise why your constituents should vote for you and what you hope to accomplish in the next four years?
Campbell: I believe that the constituents in my district are in dire need of a stronger voice to serve as an advocate for them down in Trenton. I think that as a small business owner, a recent college graduate and a property tax payer, I bring a very unique perspective to the legislature and will provide a much needed sense of balance. People in my district need a better voice for key quality of life issues that they are faced with every day.
Housing, Small Business Outreach, & Education are three areas that I intend to focus on. When there is talk about increasing the size of government, it is important to realize that someone has to pay for it. Most times, small businesses end up being the target. The same way that small business need to curb spending, Trenton must do the same. With foreclosures skyrocketing, something has to be done about the housing crisis. Rates may be at an all-time low, but no one can qualify to get a loan. I would like to work with banks/municipalities to identify REO properties in an effort to promote a rehabilitation program focused on cleaning up our neighborhoods and creating jobs for people who need it most. And as far as education, I am acutely aware of the fact that I would not have had the opportunities that I had without access to a quality education. I plan to fight for the students so that they have similar opportunities because they’re our future. It’s time we start investing in it.
If you are a candidate and interested in being a part of my weekly Meet the Candidates article, Save Jerseyans, then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.