Candidates are getting in last licks in the last week before the midterm elections and a race Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray calls the nastiest this year is in the Third Congressional District. Democrat Aimee Belgard and Republican Tom MacArthur are in a slug-fest for a vacant seat and they were neck-and-neck, but a gap has opened in the closing weeks. PAC money supporting Belgard has moved on. Belgard told NJTV News Anchor Mary Alice Williams that the most significant issue right now is the struggling middle class and boosting the economy.
Belgard said that she has had the opportunity to meet so many people through different aspects of her life being a volunteer with the American Cancer Society and as a Burlington County Freeholder, and there are people who are really still struggling in the middle class. She said it is really about boosting the economy.
Belgard said that it is really about getting people working again to boost the economy. She said that the Third Congressional District needs a strong advocate for Joint Base because it is the largest employer in South Jersey and the second largest employer in the state. She said that she also thinks it is about getting small businesses rolling, whether it’s through different initiatives such as making sure that they have access to capital and taxes incentives to boost the entrepreneurship. She said that she thinks it is about talking about education, where it can be seen that families that are struggling with student debt.
During her campaign Belgard has talked about wage equality and women’s rights. In regards to wage equality, Belgard said that it has been a huge issue in the race. She said that her opponent, MacArthur, does not believe that equal pay does not need to legislated and that its appalling to her. According to Belgard, on average women are currently making about 78 cents on the dollar to their male counterparts for the same jobs. She said that it is time to step up and make sure that women are being paid fairly. She said that it is not just about women but it is about their families. She said that it is also about minimum wage because two thirds of the people who receive minimum wage are women and that those are important issues that her and MacArthur do not see eye to eye on.
MacArthur has said that Belgard’s campaign lacks specifics and it a matter of substance verses what he hears as platitudes. Belgard said that he is not listening so well then because there are specifics, especially when it comes to women’s issues. She said that she thinks that minimum wage needs to raise but MacArthur does not think that there needs to be a federal minimum wage at all. She said that there very much specifics in the race but MacArthur is not choosing to listen.
In recent polls Belgard is down by 10 points and PAC money is moving on. Belgard said that the polls have had her and MacArthur neck and neck. She said that one poll was a little bit different but for the most part they have been neck and neck. She said that it is really going to be about making sure that the voters are going out. She said that as she has been out talking to people about the race, that people are really excited and motivated and now it is just making sure that they go to the polls and cast their votes.