I chose to examine the 7th District congressional race because it was local to Woodbridge Township, the town where I live and work. There were four candidates running: Bob Franks, Republican; Maryanne Connelly, Democrat; Darren Young, Libertarian; and Richard C. Martin, NJ Conservative Party. This race was essentially text book. Bob Franks, Republican, the incumbent with a much larger bank account and a good amount of name recognition won with 52% of the vote beating Maryanne Connelly, Democrat who had 45% of the vote. The other two candidates whose total votes made up only 3% did nothing and the FEC had no record of contributions or expenditures. Thus focus of this paper will be exclusively on the race between Connelly and Franks.
My goal is to begin this paper by reviewing this race from the perspective of an interested but not active constituent. By this I mean someone who cares enough to read newspapers, watch televised debates, read direct mailings and talk to candidates should they make themselves available but not enough to go out of their way to contact the candidates. The first part of this paper is written from that perspective. I will then take a look at the differences in the candidates' stands on issues, their finances, and the respective directions in their campaigns. Finally, I will take a look at the results and try to evaluate what could have been done differently to better inform voters and possibly create more interest in the process itself.
I thought that by being a resident of Colonia NJ, a town in the 7th congressional district, I would have more then enough information available to me to make an informed decision. I could not have been more wrong. I can only speculate as to the reasons for this as I was not involved in either campaign. Woodbridge Township has approximately 31,476 registered voters, not all of whom live in the 7th district. 11,859 of these are registered as Democrats, 3071 a...
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