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Franks Connelly Essay

1439 words - 6 pages

I chose to examine the 7th District congressional race because it was local to Woodbridge Township, the town where I live and work. There were four candidates running: Bob Franks, Republican; Maryanne Connelly, Democrat; Darren Young, Libertarian; and Richard C. Martin, NJ Conservative Party. This race was essentially text book. Bob Franks, Republican, the incumbent with a much larger bank account and a good amount of name recognition won with 52% of the vote beating Maryanne Connelly, Democrat who had 45% of the vote. The other two candidates whose total votes made up only 3% did nothing and the FEC had no record of contributions or expenditures. Thus focus of this paper will be exclusively ...view middle of the document...

11,859 of these are registered as Democrats, 3071 are registered as Republicans, and 43 are listed as Independents. Obviously Woodbridge Township strongly favors Democratic candidates. The local government is comprised of a Democratic Mayor, a town council that is 100% Democratic, a Democratic state senator, a Democratic state assemblyperson and a Republican congressman. It is no surprise then that although Connelly did lose the district-wide election she did win in Woodbridge by a vote of 8,678 to Franks 6,394. Also Pete Dalina, a local tavern owner and father of one of our councilmen was running for County Freeholder. This probably brought out more democratic voters. This was a long-winded way of saying that it really would not matter who the democrats put on the ticket, that person probably would have won in Woodbridge. Using this as the basis for making decisions as to where to spend money in a campaign it would then not make sense to devote a lot of resources to Woodbridge Township with the exception of GOTV which is not usually paid for by the candidates anyway.Most of the information I was able to gather was from coverage given by the free media. The first I read of Maryanne Connelly was on September 24 when the Home News Tribune ran an article about women congressional candidates. Connelly and Theresa de Leon were the only two women running for congress in New Jersey this year. The focus of this article was mostly about Connelly and her background as a retired AT&T employee and Fanwood mayor, but never touched upon any issues. There were a few articles mentioning Bob Franks but they were mostly in the context of his position on the Budget Committee and his opinions on the Bill Clinton sex scandal. It was not until the last two weeks of October that more information was being printed. This information was obviously fed to the writers of the articles by the candidates' offices. They contained basic background material and brief synopsis of the individual candidates' positions on issues.I learned from a newspaper article that two public debates were being held. One was being televised on News 12 New Jersey. At that time that station was not available in my area. Fortunately News 12 would let me purchase a copy for the price of only a tape.The format of the televised debate was actually quite good. It started out with reporters and commentators asking questions they felt needed to be asked. They then proceeded to take phone calls from the general public. Unfortunately they only received two calls. This was probably the best source I had for obtaining information on the views of the candidates from the candidates.I received one mailing. Actually it was not even from either of these two candidates. It was from the Democratic Party and the focus was on Pete Delina who was running for Middlesex County Freeholder and mentioned Maryanne Connelly as being positioned on Line A along with himself and others. From Bob Franks or the Republican...

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