TRENTON – Senator Ellen Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer, issued the following statement today after the Assembly State Government Committee unanimously approved her bill, sponsored with Senate President Richard J. Codey, to move New Jersey’s presidential primary to the first week of February:
“I applaud the Assembly’s action today to make New Jersey relevant in national politics. For too long, the residents of the Garden State have been disenfranchised by a late primary, making their votes meaningless in the political process, as the party nominees for president are often already decided before the voting booths even open in our home State.
“For one of the wealthiest states in the nation, and the ninth largest in population, we should be demanding a much larger role on the national political stage, not token representation after the primary’s already over.
“New Jersey has long been a campaign stop on the road to the presidency, so that candidates can fill up on campaign contributions before going to the voters in the states that matter in the primary. However, an earlier primary will ensure that candidates do not weigh our State’s worth by our checkbooks, and that New Jersey can be at the center of a lively discussion of the issues, not just stump speeches to collect quick cash.
“I look forward to swift passage in the full Assembly, and another step in the direction of giving voice to the silenced 4.8 million voters who call New Jersey home.”