Background: Born in Trenton, raised in Hamilton, family man and labor leader Wayne DeAngelo, 41, is an electrician by trade and the assistant business manager of Local 269, having worked his way up from recording secretary. The Democrat comes from a labor family. His uncle worked in a Pennsylvania steel factory. His grandfather was a tool and die cutter in a local turbine factory. "If labor gave me no money," says DeAngelo, "I’d still be representing labor. They say labor’s pulling my strings. I’m pulling my own strings. I am labor."
Out-of-the-gate issue: "It’s affordability. Every person I’ve spoken to feels they can’t afford to live in New Jersey."
What he wants to do about it: DeAngelo says if elected he would examine the schools funding formula and go into the process with an open mind. He’s willing to raise taxes on the wealthiest New Jerseyans to alleviate the educational costs footed by working people. He would want a full audit before he would sign on to anything. "I need the understanding," says the candidate, "that if we’re giving money to the Abbott districts that it’s getting into the classrooms." But as long as property taxes remain the primary income source for education, DeAngelo believes the Abbots need to remain in place to safeguard lower income students.
Government background: DeAngelo served a term on the Hamilton Township Council and currently sits on the Hamilton Township Planning Board.. It was the Klockner Woods issue (See Tom Goodwin profile) that contributed to DeAngelo’s council loss to Goodwin by a roughly 3,000-vote margin. D’Angelo felt vindicated earlier this year when a superior court judge ruled the that the council did not act improperly in acquiring for $4.1 million a parcel of land to be used for open space where a developer might have built 41 houses.
Pet issues: DeAngelo would like to help improve state-funded vocational training to reinvigorate New Jersey’s labor force. He also sees himself playing a key role in targeting improvements to the state’s infrastructure, encouraging redevelopment as opposed to new development sprawl, and tackling renewable energy projects. He already has experience in alternative energy. "We have 100,000 kilowatts of electricity being generated by solar energy at the union hall," says DeAngelo.
Asset monetization: "I don’t see the inherent benefit to it. What you’re doing is you’re taking state-owned properties and you’re giving them to an independent company that needs to make a profit. What that means is we’ll get hit with the back end bills. I don’t support asset monetization."
On being a Democrat: "Historically I think the Democratic Party has been more apt to listen to the working man. Now the parties are merging, but I’m going to continue to stand up for the blue collar person."
Position on the death penalty: Pro.