“Why would any person run for office these days the way that they are treated?” Those words were spoken to me not long ago. We human beings can be petty when searching for the best candidates. This is a large part of the reason that we find so many who run for office who are deeply flawed.
They run for the wrong reasons, seeking the power of the office and not really to represent the people who elected them. And the electorate’s short attention span causes us to focus on immediate issues during a campaign cycle, while leaving the looming problems unattended. And yet somehow, we act surprised when good men and women aren’t willing to step up to the plate and run for office.
It seems that, as of late, many New Jerseyans feel they are not represented by either party. There is a feeling, whether real or invalid, that our lawmakers are out of touch with the conditions our common citizens are facing. The average person understands that our unemployment numbers are not real and true. There is a malaise in our economy that has resulted in stagnant opportunity for all. And many feel unemployment is stalking them. Life at times seems to offer no glimmer of hope.
Having spent time giving testimony on Common Core/PARCC several years ago, I had the opportunity to meet and speak with people from many backgrounds across the state. This included teachers, parents, activists, and administrators. Perhaps most interestingly, it was one of the few times that people of different ideologies found themselves in the same room together vying for the same solutions. This experience left me with a lasting deep respect for both sides.
Are we all really so different from each other?
Thirty years ago, it wasn’t uncommon to be able to reach across the aisle to someone of a different opinion and come to an agreement. In our era, such a concept seems foreign. Our polarization has served a purpose, to divide and score points. And some in power have goaded this on, for it is in fact beneficial to them to do so. Do we truly intend to leave the world as it is to our children? I know I can’t and that is why I decided to run for State Assembly in Legislative District 17.
We have many problems facing our state: an economic climate unfriendly to Business, crushing taxes, and an underperforming job market, education reform. However, we have faced large challenges in the past and these issues can be addressed if we have the courage to do so. We must hold our elected officials accountable to remediate pressing issues for the good of all.
“I don’t feel I have a choice on election day.”This sentiment is certainly felt by many, too. We require common men and women to right the ship we call our beloved home New Jersey. As a representative of our middle-class families and a true common man I feel the biting sting of taxes, the frustration of traffic, and the indifference than many feel from Trenton.
New Jersey can have a bright future, if we elect the proper people to office to guide it.
I am looking forward to meeting voters throughout our District and state to hear their concerns so that we may chart our course forward.
Robert Quinn is a candidate for Assembly in New Jersey’s 17th Legislative District. You can learn more about Robert and his campaign at www.quinnforassembly.com.