Congressman-Elect Norcross: Washington Needs Diversity

One of New Jersey’s three new members of the House of Representatives didn’t come in on the Republican tidal wave — he’s a Democrat whose served as both a union leader and a state senator. Donald Norcross prevailed over former Philadelphia Eagle Garry Cobb to take the seat vacated by Rob Andrews. Norcross told NJTV News Anchor Mary Alice Williams that he hopes to see some diversity in Washington after getting elected to Congress.

“It’s about diversity in Congress,” said Norcross. “Certainly there are plenty of lawyers but we think there should be some other people that bring their background. And certainly as an electrician and working in the field and helping people, we’re looking forward to bringing that experience to D.C.”

During the race, Norcross campaigned on three issues — jobs, education and getting South Jersey its fair share. He said that New Jersey is behind the nation in economic recovery and that he has seen around the district that many are still waiting for the recovery to hit them. According to Norcross, unemployment is still too high and there needs to be a focus on jobs and the economy.

Norcross also said that it is important to make sure that children get opportunities in education, including higher education. He said a college education should be available at a price students can afford.

Norcorss has been elected to serve more than just one term in Congress, as he will serve out Andrew’s term and then begin serving his in January. He could be sworn in next week, giving him a head start compared to other newly elected members of Congress.

“This should give me a bit of a jump over somewhere between 30 and 45 freshman who are coming in in January,” Norcross said. “Myself and two others will be sworn in hopefully next Wednesday.”

The Republican majority in the House of Representatives increased after polls closed and ballots were counted. Norcross said that the best determination of what will happen in the future is what he has been able to do in the past — reaching across the aisle.

“My entire professional career, it has been labor and management reaching across the aisle to make sure that we work together because we understand that nobody lives in society alone, that we work as a team,” Norcross said. “I did the very same thing in the Senate, most recently with the bail bill that came out. I had been working on that for a good part of three years and certainly the governor, the ACLU, the NAACP all came together across the aisle. I have a history of doing that and certainly I look to do that in Washington because they certainly could use it.”