Kicking off early with a muscled up gym-setting campaign event to smother the potential for anyone to get the idea of challenging her, U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12) formally announced her reelection bid today at the College of New Jersey in her hometown of Ewing.
“Labor,” said the Democrat, who in 2014 beat Senator Linda Greenstein in the Democratic-leaning district to get the nomination of her party. “It isn’t difficult to be a strong supporter and voice for labor because you’re taking about every day people.”
Back benched in a Republican-dominated Congress, Watson Coleman seized on the opportunity of friendly surroundings to slam dunk an assortment of her favorite issues: affordable health care, safe and clean affordable housing, our children walking the streets safely and not worried about gun violence.
No one from either party has stepped forward this year to challenge her. She whipped Greenstein in a four-way race in 2014: 42-28%.
“We have a responsibility to stand up,” said the congresswoman, who had $119,826 in the bank as of the end of last year. “There are barriers where we thought we had already won. Dismantling opportunities for access to vote. We can’t afford that. It is not about the one percent it is about the ninety nine percent. Our issues are many. Minimum wage, paid sick leave. We are a country of immigrants and we should not be disrespectful to anyone.”
The crowd included Democratic State Party Chairman John Currie, Vice Chair Lizette Delgado Polanco, Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes, state Senator Ronald Rice (D-28), Somerset County Democratic Chair Peg Schaffer, Assemblywoman Liz Muoio, Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp, Speaker Vinny Prieto, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, lots of labor representation, including Laborers, steelworkers, carpenters, Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson, Working Familie Executive Director Analilia Mejia, AFL-CIO Diehard Laurel Brennan, Middlesex County Democratic Chairman Kevin McCabe, SEIU 1199 VP Milly Silva,and many others.
“I want to serve the 12th Congressional District in this upcoming congressional session,” Watson Coleman said. “I can do that because I have friends and support, I have listened to you and you have listened to me. New Jersey is the most diverse state in the nation and the twelfth congressional district is a beautiful representation of our state.”