Dems Back All Incumbents
Democratic Party Chairman Jerry Green spoke at length about his decision to back Third Ward Councilman Don Davis, who was arrested about a year ago on drunken driving charges. Green, also an Assemblyman representing the 22nd District, chalked up the charges to “bad luck” and noted the year-long court process which has still not resolved all the issues related to the incident.
While Green endorsed Davis for a second term, he cautioned that Democratic candidates in the future had to be “doubly careful” not to cause trouble or embarrassment for the party.
The councilman’s parents are stalwarts of the committee and were in attendance Friday.
Davis was absolved last month of possibly the worst charge, refusing to take a Breathalyzer test, but still faces charges of illegal parking, driving while intoxicated and failure to provide proof of insurance. That trial is to take place May 14 in Scotch Plains Municipal Court.
Davis said Friday he had “given my all” to Plainfield and mentioned accomplishments such as helping to bring in a low budget increase, supporting an increase of police equipment and backing road improvements as reasons why he should be re-elected.
City Council President Harold Gibson sought re-election based on his implementation of a generic prayer for council meetings and other changes that he felt were significant.
“Change is what we are all about,” said Gibson, a candidate for the citywide council at-large seat.
Council appointee William Reid said he had learned a lot about being a councilman in the past four months and asked for support in seeking the unexpired term of Rayland Van Blake, who vacated the First Ward seat to become a Union County freeholder. Reid, a former Housing Authority official, said of the council experience, “It is hard, but it is invigorating and a lot of fun as well.”
The filing deadline for the June primary is 4 p.m. Monday. Republicans have not responded to questions on the results of their screening for council seats.
Only registered Democrats and Republicans can file to compete in the primary. Independents may file June 3, the date of the primary.