Election Opinion

SOMA Action Endorses Menendez for U.S. Senate

From SOMA Action: 

In September, as the tumultuous Kavanaugh hearings got underway, SOMA Action solicited an online survey of its sustaining members about whether to endorse in the contested NJ Senate race. SOMA Action sustaining members voted overwhelmingly to endorse Robert Menendez for Senate. 

SOMA Action is a grassroots group of citizens from South Orange, Maplewood, and neighboring towns in Essex County that formed after the 2016 election to resist the Trump agenda and to push for progressive policies. According to its mission statement, SOMA Action is “committed to social and environmental justice, a healthy nation and planet and a transparent and accountable government. SOMA Action promotes the dignity, rights and welfare of the community, earth and society.”

Like other progressive groups in NJ, SOMA Action is independent from, and sometimes critical of, the Democratic Party. However, given the crucial importance of the 2018 midterm elections to the future of our country, its sustaining members voted in July to endorse the two Democratic challengers in House races in NJ’s 7th and 11th congressional districts. It recently polled its sustaining members about whether to endorse Senator Robert Menendez.

Endorsement results and online discussion concluded that while progressive activists may not be united in their view of Robert Menendez, SOMA Action members are united in their rejection of the Republican Party, and in particular, its candidate for U.S. Senate in N.J. Bob Hugin.

Among the reasons members cited for supporting a Menendez endorsement:

  • Menendez will protect and improve the Affordable Care Act. Hugin will join the GOP in its effort to kill it and thereby deprive hundreds of thousands of New Jerseyans of health care.
  • Menendez will defend reproductive freedom for all women. Hugin will not.
  • Menendez will work to repeal the GOP’s corrupt tax breaks for the rich and state and local tax (SALT) deductions for NJ residents. Hugin will not.
  • Menendez fought hard and voted against confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to The Supreme Court. Hugin backed Kavanaugh.

“In short,” says SOMA Action Trustee Amy Higer, “a Senate majority led by Democrats in a Trump era is vastly more likely to uphold the principles of our mission, in and out of NJ, than a Senate majority led by Mitch McConnell. We urge progressives in NJ to vote to re-elect Robert Menendez to the U.S. Senate.”

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