Some Legislative Races Could Borrow A Page From The Locals [AUDIO]
While the incumbents pretty much prevailed Tuesday, and redistricting had the predicted effect of not changing much in the way of competition, one expert says people will commit to local issues at the polls when there's a sincere effort to involve them in the process.
Yes, turnout was pretty low in many legislative districts and the incumbents benefitted. But there was interest in some local races and issues. For example,the two Princetons decided finally to merge.
Former Eagleton Institute Political expert Ingrid Reed says that kind of local interest sends a message to legislative candidates about how they should change things. Reed says many legislative candidates do not nderstand their districts and the locals never see a real picture of a legislator and candidates refrain from debate or from answering questions.
Political expert Brigid Harrison of Montclair State says because there was greater local interest in some races, some legislative candidates actually benefitted from what she called a, "reverse coatails" effect.