Then I came on Daily Kos and did a search for any diary or story about this race over the past two weeks. Nothing.
Now, far be it from me to ask why a district where Barack Obama whipped John McCain by over 132,000 votes in 2008 should not be looked at - in any Congressional election cycle - as a potential Democratic "GET."
But I will say this - if this district race isn't even on your radar screen, given an electoral climate where we know Democrats are going to see some seats lost, then that says a lot about our focus.
Join me for more below the fold...
2008 election results: the lay of the land in NJ-7
On the Presidential ballot Barack Obama and John McCain received a combined 755,666 votes in the four counties comprising the 7th District: Middlesex, Union, Somerset, and Hunterdon Counties. I am not even counting third party candidates.
Simultaneously, when current GOP Congressman Leonard Lance faced off against Linda Stender only 327,159 votes were cast for all candidates, including third party also rans.
So in a district carried by Obama by 132,386 votes and won by Lance by 41,697 votes there were 428,507 people who VOTED who cast no ballot for their U.S. Congressperson. Aside from that blowing my freaking mind, that had enough people who voted for Obama bothered to just vote Democratic for the entire ticket we would have beat Lance to begin with, it also shows how this district can - and should - be a seat we can win this fall.
... and you can look it up: NJ Elections - 2008 Geleral Election Results
We need to get the 2008 Obama voter - especially in Middlesex and Union counties - to realize that Ed Potosnak is the guy who will support our President in the face of the Party of No. They need to turn out, and they need to know Ed's race is a priority on the ballot.
Ed Potosnak - OUR GUY FOR CONGRESS!!!
Ed has been a science teacher and small businessman in New Jersey for 10 years.
Ed believes in reviving American competitiveness through investments in education. He understands that job growth in the district will be through small business growth and growth in the biotechnology sector. He wants to take on the financial interests and protect consumers from being taken advantage of.
Howie Klein recently featured Ed in a piece on HuffPo.
Ed is also one of just a handful of LGBT candidates running for Congress this year, and he offered a poignant response to the recent Tyler Clementi tragedy on National Coming Out Day.
Know Your Congressional Oponent: Meet Leonard Lance
This is Leonard Lance. He is the GOP incumbent in the race.
He comes from a family of politicians. He has been entrenched in NJ politics on the statewide level from his home base of Hunterdon County, the smallest portion of the 7th District's four-county swath.
Leonard Lance Wikipedia page
The interesting thing about Lance is that he has actually not voted pure GOP party line on certain issues. He does seem to care about energy independence. And he did co-sponsor a measure to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. But let's go a bit more in depth to see, where it counts, he's just a mimic of your usual GOP talking points.
He voted NO on the Affordable Healthcare for America Act citing all the usual GOP talking points about portability of insurance, junk lawsuits and need for malpractice reform, and how it would reduce Medicare funding. He has made several mentions of protecting the medical device industry, and that industry is a major employer in the 7th District.
On the Consumer Financial Protection Act he came out squarely for bankers and not consumers:
Mr . LANCE . Madam Chair, the current regulatory structure is not lacking authority. The Federal Reserve and the other banking agencies had all of the powers needed to address problems in consumer protection. What was lacking was coordination, improved disclosure, and an ability to fill the gaps in the system.
This amendment solves those deficiencies without installing a new bureaucracy that would make rules with little or no input from the cops on the beat--the banking agencies. That is why I am strongly supportive of Mr. Minnick's amendment.
Who is he kidding?
Moderate central New Jersey voters want to believe that their congressman Leonard Lance is mainstream, especially when it comes to bread and butter issues like jobs. But on the vote to stop Chinese currency manipulation, Chris Smith and Frank LoBiondo in neighboring districts voted with most of Congress to put America's foot down while Lance voted with Michele Bachmann and John Boehner and, more important, the big multinational Wall Street banksters who have dictated every single vote he's taken since he first got into Congress. Ed Potosnak, the Blue America-endorsed progressive who's challenging Lance, has a very different way of looking at it. "I'm committed to ending tax breaks and giveaways to companies that ship jobs overseas," Ed told us after the disgraceful vote by Lance. "In Congress I intend to work towards legislation that will reward companies for creating and keeping jobs here in the U.S. My opponent's vote last week is deplorable. He continues to put the profits of his biggest campaign contributors-- big banks and Wall Street-- ahead of the needs of our families and small New Jersey businesses. If my opponent had gotten his way many more jobs would be lost in America to the greed of the financial industry."
On the Corporate and Financial Institution Compensation Fairness Act of 2009 Lance carried the water of his Wall Street benefactors.
And then there is this article where this original part of the article has conveniently been edited out (if anyone can find the original piece it would be most welcomed):
The congressman [GOP Rep. Leonard Lance] noted his votes against the stimulus package and the health care ...reform bill. The business community needs greater certainty and more cooperation from the federal government, said Lance, adding that tax cuts should be extended to spur job growth. Lance also has proposed a constitutional cap on federal spending."
Is Leonard Lance the worst Republican in Congress? No, but he's gotta go, because he'll get steamrolled by the oncoming Tea Party/GOP train and vote against Obama on every key issue if (Lord help us) the GOP wins back the House.
Ed needs help - YOUR HELP - to help GOTV in the key parts of the District.
Please volunteer for phone banking and don't forget to $$$contribute$$$ to help Ed bring home a victory on Election Day