Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-Hamilton) knows that Republicans have him in their sights for next year, but says that this time is different: he’s a known commodity.
“Being in District 14 and in Hamilton Township where politics is very much independent minded individuals, I expect all races to be close,” he said.
Close, but not like last year, when DeAngelo edged out Republican Tom Goodwin by about 700 votes, while his entrenched running mate, Linda Greenstein (D-Plainsboro), ran 3,000 votes ahead of him.
DeAngelo, a labor leader, said that voters in his district will appreciate his prime sponsorship of the Paid Family Leave Act, which plays well in this blue collar district, and that they’ll also recognize him for his vote against pension reform.
“My speculation on why the race was a little bit closer last time, I’d have to say it was an open seat, I had no history and neither did any of the candidates,” he said.
Republicans will likely use DeAngelo’s vote in favor of the new Council on Affordable Housing regulations against him, which could hurt him in his native Hamilton and take some votes from some of the more Democratic districts. But DeAngelo thinks that working class voters will identify with it.
“We need, at all levels of employment, to be able to live near where we work. It’s just as important to someone who works in a bakery, an electrician, teacher, police officer to be able to afford in the town that they work in, and right now sometimes that’s not happening,” he said. “People are moving across the river to Pennsylvania.”