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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Governor’s election isn’t the only one taking place on today’s ballot. New Brunswick voters will also select the next Middlesex County Sheriff, three Middlesex County Freeholders, two State Assembly representatives, and a State Senator.
New Brunswick is a part of Legislative District 17, which also includes Franklin, Milltown, North Brunswick, and Piscataway.
Currently, Senator Bob Smith (D), Assemblyman Upendra J. Chivukula (D), and Assemblyman Joseph V. Egan (D) represent us in Trenton. The senate position and two assembly positions are up for grabs in the elections this week. The candidates for the November 2013 elections are as followed:
STATE SENATE (1 seat open)
Senator Bob Smith (Democrat)
Bob Smith has worked his way up in public office since the 1970’s. He was elected to the General Assembly in 1986, and to the State Senate in 2002. Through his career, Senator Smith has been a champion of environmental protection around the state. Recently in June, for example, he sponsored the “Green Building and Infrastructure Tax Credit Act” which would provide tax credits to buildings that meet green standards
Mayor Brian D. Levine (Republican)
Brian D. Levine is the Republican candidate for Senator of District 17. Since 2003, he has served as Mayor of Franklin Township. As Mayor, Levine has worked for job growth in the fields of high tech industry, manufacturing, retail and data centers. His main issues of concern are job growth and the economy in New Jersey. In 2009, Levine he had planned on running against Joe Corzine for the Democratic seat, but withdrew from the elections after being unable to gather enough signatures for nomination.
STATE ASSEMBLY (2 seats open)
Upendra Chivukula (Democrat)
Upendra Chivukula is the Democratic candidate for Assemblyman of District 17. His political career stems back to 1998, when he was elected to the Franklin Township Council. In 2002, he became the first American Indian to be elected to the New Jersey General Assembly. He has sponsored several bills and champions various issues across the board. For example, in 2008, he voted yes on the Education Funding Reform, which changed regulations so as to accommodate for at-risk and special needs children, and promoted more extracurricular and vocational activities. He has also sponsored several bills creating grant programs for owners of small business.
Carlo DiLalla (Republican)
Carlo DiLalla is the Republican candidate for Assemblyman of District 17. He is currently active with the North Brunswick Republican Party. Some of the issues he advocates for include bringing jobs back into New Jersey, more lenient regulations for businesses, and assuring money goes directly to classrooms rather than administrators.
Assemblyman Joseph V. Egan (Democrat)
Joseph V. Egan is the Democratic candidate for Assemblyman of District 17. His political career traces back to 1982, when he first served on the New Brunswick City Council. In 2002, he was elected to the General Assembly, and has served as Deputy Majority Leader since 2008. During his career, he has advocated for workers rights. For example, he has sponsored a bill requiring that employers prove workers are receiving compensation. In March 2012, he introduced a bill that would increase the minimum wage for tipped workers.
Currently, he is under controversy due to a claim made by New Jersey Watch. In July, 2013, the watchdog group listed 18 state legislatures found “double dipping” through pension salaries and legislative salaries.
Sanjay Patel (Republican)
Sanjay Patel is the Republican candidate for Assemblyman of District 17. He is running alongside Republican candidate Carlo DiLalla.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.