The following Letter to the Editor was submitted by Hillsborough resident Judd Mandell, who ran for Township Committee as an Independent on Nov. 6.
I appreciate the process of elections and the right for each candidate to address the voters. It is always ultimately the voters choice to elect the candidate they see fit that adheres to their core values and will do their best for their town/district/state/ country. Here is a brief reflection on the nature of running a grassroots election.
Hillsborough has a large group of unaffiliated voters that are seeking the best candidate, not status quo. My Independent base of 700 voters is a nice showing in terms of percentage of voters, as most of the country only votes 1 to 2 percent Independent. We will build on that.
It is difficult to run as an Independent, as revealed in the lack of another Independent candidate at the local level in Somerset County. Without the backing of an existing political party, I had to find ways to make myself visible with very few resources, but a lot of word of mouth.
What worked well:
- Writing in and responding to local newspapers and online sites.
- Speaking with residents, starting in my own neighborhood.
- Speaking to local business owners and their patrons.
- Emailing the people who already knew of me in town to begin conversations with their friends and neighbors.
- Relying on a small core group of residents and business owners for advice and guidance.
- Researching key issues long time residents are concerned about.
What needs to continue:
- Challenge my own assumptions.
- Reflect upon the concerns I hear from residents.
- Converse with others, and discover new ways for us to support each other.
- Build capacity.
- Research local issues and find places to have high impact with little cost.
I appreciate and thank all those that supported my effort. We will grow stronger. If you are interested in contributing time or information, please contact me vial email at Juddmandell@comcast.net