A local black conservative activist and radio talk-show host plans to run for the New Jersey Assembly in the 34th District, in a direct challenge to Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-34-Essex).
The Rev. Clenard H. Childress, Jr., best known as the force behind the site BlackGenocide.org, a project of the Life Education And Resource Network (LEARN), confirmed his plans to this Examiner today in a telephone interview.
Childress has sought an Assembly seat in the 34th in the last three elections, beginning in 2005, when he challenged Oliver and running mate Tom Giblin in the primary. In 2007 he ran as a Republican and won The Line. In 2009 he ran as an independent, under the banner of “A Better Tomorrow,” with running mate David Taylor. They finished a distant third.
The election is very often uncontested; the Republicans usually don’t bother to run anybody in the 34th. I decided that by now I have enough name recognition that I should be able to win this time.
Childress now faces a dilemma: whether to run as a Republican again and seek The Line in Essex and Passaic Counties, or once again run as an independent. The problems:
- Though unaffiliated voters hold a clear plurality in the 34th (as they do in nearly every district in the State), voters are loath to look beyond Columns A (Democratic) and B (Republican) for their election choices.
- This year is a redistricting year. The Legislative Apportionment Commission will not finalize the district lines for another ten days or so (April 3), and that will give him only one business week to have his nominating-petition signatures in order.
He could start gathering signatures now, but he might risk watching the district shift positions. If his hometown of Montclair is no longer in the 34th, he may not run in that district anyway. That aside, his district could conceivably lose a municipality to another district. What makes that less likely is the population shift from north to south, and Tiebreaker Alan Rosenthal’s stated preference for “continuity of representation.” Thus if anything, District 34 is likely to gain a town without losing any of the five municipalities (East Orange, Glen Ridge, and Montclair in Essex, and Clifton and Woodland Park in Passaic) it now encompasses. In that event, any signatures that Childress gathers in those cities and towns would remain valid.
RoseAnn Salanitri of the Sussex County Tea Party alerted this Examiner to Childress’ candidacy earlier, and remarked upon it with enthusiasm.
If we could knock Oliver out of the Assembly, what a coup that would be!
Salanitri also said that she would like to see Childress file as an independent (which he would have more time to do, since independent candidacy filings are permitted up to the day of the primary) and provide a focus for a campaign to move the ranks of unaffiliated voters out of the Republican and Democratic columns and into a third column.
When this Examiner suggested to him that Tea Party activists would rally to him, he said that any such involvement would be welcome, especially in Clifton.
Childress understands perfectly the long odds of his candidacy, especially in Essex County, dominated as it is by “machine politics.” He sees greater opportunity for votes in Passaic County, where the Democratic grip might be weaker.
LEARN and BlackGenocide.org are two coordinated projects through which Childress protests strongly against the persistence of abortion-on-demand and what he describes as a deliberate campaign to promote abortion in the black population with a view to reducing or eliminating the black demographic.
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