Primary election features abortion foe versus pro-choice Democratic woman

Today’s primary election contest for the state Senate seat in New Jersey’s 20th legislative district is heating up as incumbent Joe Cryan faces a strong challenge from Roselle Board of Education Commissioner Angela Alvey-Wimbush.

Polls will open at 6 a.m. and will close at 8 p.m.

Leading Column A is Cryan, a New Jersey politician known for his high taxpayer-funded salary, who has drawn criticism from residents of his impoverished district. However, he has managed to evade debates with his primary challenger, Alvey-Wimbush, who is calling for courageous leadership and meaningful change.

Alvey-Wimbush, a three-term commissioner on the Roselle school board and a dedicated teacher with 28 years of experience, aims to address critical issues such as police reform, improved education, and greater prosperity for working people. She has been vocal about the need to bridge the disparities that plague the state and create a fairer society for all.

Dr. Mrylene Thelot, a teacher at Abraham Clark High School, and Reverend Charles Mitchell, the senior pastor of Project Redirect Ministries Outreach in Roselle, are also running on Alvey-Wimbush’s Column B slate for the New Jersey General Assembly.

Mitchell gained attention in 2010 when his campaign for Union County Sheriff came remarkably close to unseating the popular Democratic incumbent.

“Every state Senator and Assemblymember is up for re-election, and there are a lot of open seats this year. It’s more important than ever that we all turn out to vote for the candidates who share our values,” said Rebecca Hilbert, a senior policy manager at the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.

If you have a mail-in ballot that you haven’t returned yet, return it in-person to a drop box or your County Board of Elections Office by 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 6 to ensure that your vote will be received on time.

If you return by mail, please know it must be postmarked by 8:00 pm Election Day and received by your Board of Elections no later than June 12 to be counted.

If you’re voting in person, here’s everything you need to know:

Angela Alvey-Wimbush, Reverend Charles Mitchell and Dr. Mrylene Thelot

The primary challengers are highlighting Cryan’s failures to address issues such as racial segregation in New Jersey schools and the need for law enforcement reform. Alvey-Wimbush intends to push for swift and systemic change, addressing the concerns raised by protesters advocating for justice and accountability.

The candidates are also critical of the political establishment’s handling of key issues. They highlight the failure to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the challenges surrounding the legalization of marijuana, and the presence of white supremacists and right-wing extremists in political institutions.

Alvey-Wimbush, Mitchell, and Thelot emphasize the need for truth, responsible citizenship, and accurate education while opposing lies and misinformation that harm communities.

Anti-abortion protesters are campaigning for Senator Joe Cryan, who cast the deciding vote to shut down six Planned Parenthood women’s health clinics in New Jersey. They are equally concerned that his opponent is an African-American pro-choice Democratic woman.

In addition to his declared desire to outlaw abortion, Cryan cast the deciding vote for the GOP budget on June 28, 2010, to help Republican Governor Chris Christie close six Planned Parenthood clinics in New Jersey.

Cryan and Union Township Mayor Michele Delisfort, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for Union County commissioner, welcomed an NRA-affiliated firearms dealer and shooting range to the Route 22 business corridor

Democrats for Change, a progressive Democratic organization based in Elizabeth, has announced its endorsement of Alvey-Wimbush, recognizing her as a productive and effective member of the Roselle Board of Education. The organization commends her record of accomplishments and supports her pro-choice stance, contrasting it with Cryan’s anti-abortion position.

Alvey-Wimbush’s campaign platform includes protecting women’s rights to choose, fighting for equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community, and advocating for criminal justice reform. She aims to address systemic issues and challenges facing the state, ranging from climate change and the cost of living to the influence of money in politics.

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