Although New Jersey is not a battleground state for President Barack Obama, the state’s Democrats are relying on a strong campaign from Obama to help boost their own election chances. Democratic candidate Shelley Adler is one of them. She’s challenging Rep. Jon Runyan in the third district, seeking to replace the man who took her late husband’s seat in Congress in 2010.
The widow of former Congressman John Adler tells NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider that she wants to represent the third district the way her late husband would have wanted.
“We need to continue his legacy of public service which is helping people, not hurting people,” said Adler. “But it is really about getting the people of the third circuit back on track in terms of the representation in Washington.”
She says Runyan’s voting record thus far has shown a lack of concern for middles class families, seniors and veterans.
“Basically, those votes that Congressman Runyan has cast in Washington have really been on the side of large corporations that ship jobs overseas, on big oil and everything but middle class families,” she said.
One area of distinction Adler is quick to draw against her opponent is in Medicare. She says that Runyan favors changes to the current Medicare system as proposed by GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.
According to Adler, Runyan wants to end Medicare as we know it in favor of a voucher system, which she says would cost each senior an additional $6400 out of pocket each year. She said, “I don’t believe that we should end the Medicare guarantee.”
The Democratic National Convention is set to begin Tuesday in Charlotte, NC. It comes on the heels of the GOP’s convention last week. For Adler, the speeches coming out of that convention only served to highlight the deep partisan division in Congress.
“It’s not getting anything done and it’s too much partisan bickering,” she said. “Congress as represented by Jon Runyan is not working for middle class families and it’s not working to get them moving forward and to get our economy moving forward.”
While she supports fiscal responsibility, she says she is opposed to measures that would harm senior citizens, middle class families and veterans. Instead, she favors cutting subsidies for big oil and corporations that ship jobs overseas.
“Congressman Runyan doesn’t want to move in that direction and his votes are going in the other way.”
President Obama has stated that he would end the Bush tax cuts for those making more than $250,000. Its a cap that Adler and leading Democrats like Sen. Bob Menendez disagree with, calling it too low for a a state like New Jersey.
“I think in New Jersey a quarter of a million does not equate with what it does in the rest of the country. So I think we need to be higher than a quarter of a million dollars. I think somewhere in the $1 million mark.”