Who am I?

I am a staunch progressive and a proud lifelong Democrat who has dedicated my life to public service and fighting for working families, senior citizens and those most in need.

I grew up in a housing project and thanks to great public schools, I was able to get scholarships to Vassar, Johns Hopkins and Georgetown University Law Center. I’ve worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia under Ed Rendell and a Deputy Attorney General prosecuting Medicaid Fraud in Trenton. I also spent almost a decade at a non-profit called the Community Health Law Project providing legal services to the indigent disabled and ran the Disability Law Clinic at Seton Hall Law School.

I was first elected to the West Windsor-Plainsboro Board of Education in 1992, then the Plainsboro Township Committee for 2 terms. In 1999, I was elected to the New Jersey Assembly, where I served for 10 years. In 2010, I was elected to the Senate. I have been a full time legislator since 2000.

My wonderful and supportive family consists of my husband Michael and my son Evan, who is a lawyer with the American Federation of Government Employees in Washington, D.C.

I have held many leadership positions in the State Legislature. I was Assistant Majority Leader and Deputy Speaker in the Assembly, as well as chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee for 9 years. I have been Vice Chair of the Energy and Environment Committee and of the Law and Public Safety Committee in the Senate, as well as Assistant Majority Leader. I am also a member of the NJ Legislative Select Committee on Investigation. I've also served on Budget and Appropriations in both houses, as well as the Assembly Health Committee.

I have run 9 times in the most competitive legislative district in the state, and by gradually moving my district from a Republican to a Democratic one, I've set the standard for Democrats throughout the state.

I have never been afraid to take on the tough legislative fights. I sponsored Paid Family Leave, and was a leader in the effort to strengthen Megan’s Law. I have stood up to Governor Christie on many issues, including trying to restore funding for women’s health care. I have taken on the gun lobby to fight for mandatory background checks on all gun purchases in the state. I have a strong consumer protection record, including passing the toughest anti-telemarketing law in the nation and reducing the costs of prescription drugs for seniors. I have always stood shoulder to shoulder with working families through my unwavering support for the labor movement, including raising the minimum wage and standing up for collective bargaining rights. I am proud of my long-standing support for marriage equality. I have sponsored efforts to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels and have advocated for clean and renewable energy. I was also a leader in ethics and campaign finance reform at a time when too many members of both parties remained comfortable with the status quo.

Why am I running?

As your Congresswoman, I will continue the fight for progressive policies that would lift up our nation and help rebuild and restore its middle class. I am proud to be able to continue the legacy of our great Congressman Rush Holt. The right-wing Republican forces waging multiple wars on women, the middle class and the working poor simply cannot be allowed to win. I am running for Congress to stop the Tea Party from dismantling 80 years of progressive policies.

I want to fight for a national minimum wage and for ending the tax breaks that allow corporate CEO’s to widen the income gap and that reward companies that ship American jobs overseas. I want to protect a woman’s right to choose and to ensure that the LGBT community finally shares in complete equality. I also want to fix our broken immigration system, create a path to citizenship, and ensure that Dreamers are able to attend college.

We must protect Social Security and Medicare, and take steps to fix Obamacare, not destroy it. We must ensure that the unemployed have the protection of unemployment insurance and we need a jobs program that doesn’t involve more tax breaks for the rich. We need to repair our crumbling infrastructure and provide adequate funding for our schools.

These are the issues I will fight for every day in Washington. I know we must work to change the tone in Washington, but we must continue to fight right-wing Republicans and entrenched corporate interests.

My Goals

My top three priorities are:

1. I strongly support President Obama’s plan to raise the national minimum wage to $10.10/hour. I supported multiple minimum wage increases here in New Jersey. It is unconscionable that we allow so many working people to be locked into wages through which they cannot lift their families out of poverty. A minimum wage increase is good for working families, businesses and taxpayers.

2. I want to fight back against the Tea Party War on Women. After 4 years of fighting against Governor Christie’s War on Women here in New Jersey, I’m ready to take on the extremists in Washington who don’t think women can be trusted with their own bodies and decisions. I look forward to giving our state’s delegation a woman’s point of view for the first time in a decade and I’ll be a strong, progressive voice in Congress for New Jersey’s women. I am committed to pay equity for women and to restoring funding to family planning clinics. As a proudly pro-choice woman, I’ll fight to ensure that a woman’s reproductive health decisions are between her and her doctor, and not a place for meddling politicians.

3. I will fight to protect Medicare, Social Security and the Affordable Care Act. We need these important social programs, not tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans, as in the Ryan budget. We must ensure that our elderly can be secure in their twilight years, and that the 7.8 million Americans who have purchased health insurance under the ACA can keep it.

My DFA Values

As a public servant, I have always been guided by the principle that the people I represent and their concerns and needs are what truly matter to me. That means that everyone is important, not just certain people or groups in the community. I have always made sure that I am open and accessible and that everyone knows they have a place at the table with me. I believe that we are responsible to and for each other and for helping the most vulnerable to survive in our society. We must protect civil liberties for all citizens, ensure that all children have access to a quality education, and we must protect our children and families from gun violence. Every American, regardless of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class or creed, has equal rights and should expect equal pay for equal work. I will fight to stop right-wing Republicans and big corporate interests from dismantling 80 years of progressive policies.

My Campaign is People Powered!

I am a true, strong progressive and always have been. In fact, I was one of the first candidates for state office in NJ that DFA ever endorsed. A look at my legislative record shows that I have led the fight for laws that are significant to the progressive community. I have always been actively involved with progressive groups such as Citizen Action, Planned Parenthood, Garden State Equality, NJ Women’s Political Caucus, and all environmental groups including Sierra Club, and have received endorsements from most groups over the years. As a leading champion of working families, I have also worked closely with both public and private unions. I agree with DFA that the best way we can level the playing field of the political process is to get big money and special interests out of politics. In 2007, I participated in a Clean Elections experiment wherein my district was publicly funded and it was very successful. In this campaign, we continue to reach out to progressive activists throughout the community, as we always have, and we are seeking their support.

Voice support


  • Jeffrey Goldberg
  • Sue Kanter
  • Roseanne Lazer
  • Patty Leonard
  • Vijay Ramanathan
  • David Bander
  • Lauren Moscatelli
  • Charles Basner
  • Chris Fuchs
  • Kenneth Dreyfack
...and 108 more.

About the Endorsement Process

The driving force behind all DFA endorsements is our members. We recognize that all politics is local and that what is considered progressive in Los Angeles may be very different from what's considered progressive in Louisville. For this reason, DFA does not have a litmus test of specific progressive positions for which a candidate must stand. Our endorsement is heavily weighted based on these questions:

• Will the candidate move the progressive movement forward in their community?
• Does the candidate have substantial support from our local members?
• Do the candidate's positions and policies fit into the broader progressive movement?
• Is the campaign people-powered and the candidate working to win?

If you have questions, or want to let us know about a candidate in your neighborhood, please call us at (802) 651-3200 or email us at [email protected] .

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