Former Maplewood Mayor Fred Profeta Endorses McGehee for NJ Assembly

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Three Democratic candidates are vying for two seats to represent New Jersey’s 28th Legislative District in the New Jersey Assembly: Cleopatra Tucker, incumbent; Garnet Hall; and Frank McGehee. Two candidates — Joy Freeman and Willie S. Jetti — are running in the Republican primary. The primary takes place on June 6, 2023. Village Green accepted endorsements for candidates through May 30, 2023. Read more election coverage here. 


Did you know that New Jersey is the only state in the US which uses a County Line A in its primary elections? Did you know that the occupants of line A are not picked by you, but by the County political leaders? And did you know that Line A candidates have an average 35 point advantage over candidates on Line B? It’s all true. And, of course, all of this gives the County much more to say about our elected officials than you do. So who do you think County Line candidates owe their primary allegiance to – you or the County leaders? And the greater that allegiance, the greater the chance that aspiring office holders will end up on Line A.  

Former Maplewood Mayor Frank McGehee and we the voters are up against this disadvantage in Frank’s quest to represent us in the Assembly. Because Frank has never owed anything to anyone other than his constituents, the County has placed him on Line B. Yet Frank is by far the most qualified Assembly candidate running in our District 28, covering Maplewood, South Orange, Hillside, Irvington, and parts of Newark. His qualifications have been spelled out in detail in other endorsements that have already been submitted. But if you would like more information about Frank’s abilities, listen to the District 28 debate here: You really only need to listen to the first 15 minutes or so to formulate a reliable rating of the candidates.

This comparison is no surprise. Frank is the only candidate who has honed his skills as a Mayor. Believe me when I tell you that this is a tough job. It requires intelligence, analytical ability, and the courage to make correct decisions that you know will displease a substantial number of people. Moreover, Frank’s tenure was particularly tough because he served as Maplewood’s Mayor during the darkest days of the pandemic. Frank’s voice was always there, giving us the facts, telling us how to be safe, and running the town in a way that maximized that safety. Of the three candidates, only Frank can claim anything like that test of fire. And now he wants to bring his skills to Trenton, where he is passionate about joining the fight for gun control, increasing the public’s access to quality mental health, reducing property taxes, saving our special environment and protecting people who suffer the greatest harm from environmental degradation.

Maplewood has gotten rid of the County Line in its municipal primary elections. Frank understands the inequity of the New Jersey system and began to speak out against it in 2021. He was an important part of the movement to get rid of the Line in Maplewood. Other towns are following Maplewood’s example. Highland Park, among others, has inquired about the strategy for accomplishing this. (South Orange does not have a County Line for municipal elections because it has a non-partisan system). We the People of District 28 should lead the way in ridding our state of this ancient obstacle to true democracy up and down the ballot. The Democratic Party must stand for true democracy.  Mayor Frank is the perfect person to lead that effort. Not only does he believe in putting New Jersey on a democratic par with the rest of the United States; he also possesses the personal excellence which we need to represent us in the competitive Trenton environment.  Frank’s election is a win-win.  Please join me in voting for him on June 6.

Fred Profeta

Former Maplewood Mayor

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