To the Editor:
No debate has been scheduled between the Democratic and Republican town council candidates because the Republican leaders have backed down. As citizens, we should be entitled to, and reasonably able to expect, a debate between our town’s council candidates.
Navy veteran Dan Malloy and retired Local 1330 financial secretary Doug Helmstetter were ready to debate. Their team responded enthusiastically when, to their credit, the Republican team in town suggested a debate. However, over the course of several sets of emails, with phone calls offered and never made, the idea was not pursued and allowed to languish. Everyone seems to be throwing the ball into another court, but the Malloy and Helmstetter team was more than willing to negotiate and find a time and place suitable to everyone.
In the absence of the debate we are being denied, we should know more about the candidates. Dan Malloy is a Navy veteran who served four deployments in service to his country and was awarded a Navy and Marine Corps medal for heroic action in a crisis. He is also a volunteer with the Young Survival Coalition for breast cancer research and co-creator of the popular 5K Taco Trot, a charity run. He has lived in Jefferson for 10 years and is a happily married father of two.
Doug Helmstetter is a retired PSE&G combustion turbine operator and served as the financial secretary of Local 1330. During his 30 years in Jefferson, he has served the town as a soccer coach, Boy Scout leader, and swim team volunteer. He is an active member with the Department of Persons with Disabilities and a board member of Animal Life Savers. He is married and a father of three.
Both candidates are running to give Jefferson a new voice in government. As we have all seen at the federal level, one party cannot and will not impose checks and balances on itself. Both men have fresh ideas for how to revitalize the town, fill storefronts, bring new development grants into Jefferson, and appeal to younger home buyers. They would have liked a chance to compare those ideas in a forum setting and give residents a chance to decide who best represents them. Unfortunately, the other side seems to be running scared, opting to buy more signs with which to litter our beautiful town in place of talking to you.
I am a resident and treasurer of the Jefferson Township Democratic Committee. My interactions with these two council candidates have been only through the committee. I am impressed with both of them for their concern and commitment to the residents of Jefferson. Dan and Doug have given me many reasons to cast my vote in their favor. They are intelligent, are observant, listen, and above all, care about others.
They will make a difference because they want a better life for all of us in Jefferson, not just a chosen few. Please consider casting your vote in their favor.
I am also endorsing Congressional candidate Mikie Sherrill – hands down! From the moment we met, I knew she was special. She looks at you, listens, and responds. Mikie hears your concerns and will do whatever she can to change things in our state and our country. I trust my life in her hands; that’s how sure I am of her integrity.
I have also voted for Senator Menendez: his voting record for the people is impeccable. Shala Gagliardi for county clerk: perfect candidate. Mary Dougherty, Rupande Mehta, and Richard Corcoran for freeholders: because I trust them all. I have met them, listened to them, and concluded that they care about us.
I have already delivered my ballot to the county clerk’s office because in the primary, my write-in vote (along with those of some other Democrats) was not recorded. Isn’t it bad enough that the Russians are against our right to vote, let alone our own neighbors? My recent vote included a write-in for an exceptional young man for Jefferson Township’s Board of Education, Dylan Terpstra. He is super intelligent, is a great orator, and has an interest in returning this township and our country to a place where all of us work together and live in harmony. I am very confident that he will make great changes for all.
Please vote on November 6! I will be a poll watcher on that day. My eyes will be open and my ears will be tuned in.
Patricia Terhune Anfora, Lake Shawnee
Editor’s Note: This op-ed was submitted to our newsroom and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Jefferson Chronicle or its staff.