New 7th club announces endorsements
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 13:10

Staigerwald and Yeatman are “co-endorsed”

by Ben Boehl

    Not all of the decisions were easy, but the New 7th Democratic Club has made endorsements in next month’s primary elections.
    Unlike most other clubs, the New 7th’s endorsement process is open to all members rather than delegated to a small group of members.
    “You don’t have to listen to the PAC committee or the board,” said club vice president Jay Hidden. “You get to vote for who you want.”
    Tensions were high as the party’s County Council candidates came up for a vote.
    Former New 7th president C.O. “Bud” Staigerwald and County Seal Democratic Club president Ron Yeatman were considered front runners for the club’s nod.
    Hidden was asked by some Yeatman supporters if the process would be fair, given that Staigerwald is a  past president of the club and Hidden is one of his supporters.

At times, Hidden became frustrated with the arguing among members.
    “The Republicans damn near took a seat four years ago,” Hidden pointed out.    
    “We have to work together. The Republicans are not fighting [with each other]. They are united.”
    After the 30 votes were counted, Staigerwald and Yeatman were tied with 13 votes a piece.
    Essex-Middle River Renaissance Corporation Joe DiCara picked up four votes. With two candidates tied, club member John Vontran suggested that both men be recognized.
    “We should co-endorse both candidates,” Vontran said.
    Others agreed, and a motion was passed for the club to endorse both Staigerwald and Yeatman.
    Staigerwald was endorsed by the Riverside Democratic Club in Essex last week, and Yeatman’s County Seal club had already endorsed him.
    The Battle Grove Democratic Club made no endorsement in the council race.
    In the other contested races, the New 7th endorsed the three members of the “Our Team” House slate — Del. Mike Weir, Jr., Ed Crizer and Eric Washington.
    Weir had 27 votes with Crizer and Washington collecting 20 votes each. Anna Pearce had eight votes and former delegate Jake Mohorovic grabbed five votes.
    Weir, Crizer and Washington also picked up the Battle Grove endorsements for the delegate’s race, but Pearce was endorsed by the Riverside club along with Larry Harmel and Weir.
    Even though Del. John Olszewski Jr., who heads the “Our Team” ticket as a candidate for state Senate, has a primary opponent in Russ Mirabile, the New 7th club said they did not take a vote on the race as they considered Olszewski to be an “unopposed candidate.”
    Olszewski has been endorsed by Riverside and Battle Grove, among others.
    The New 7th joined Battle Grove in endorsing Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown for governor, but Riverside opted to support Attorney General Doug Gansler for the state’s top job.