Vineland Residents Gather to Discuss Issues in Governor's Race

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VINELAND, N.J. -

Thanks to a partnership with Montclair State University’s Center for Cooperative Media and the Center for Investigative Reporting, SNJToday along with media companies throughout the state, are working together on a project called: Voting Block NJ.

The goal is to see what this year’s governor’s race looks like throughout the state. 

This is what a few neighbors from Cumberland County had to say about the race and the issues that are most important to them.

“I [don't have] much interest in politics, because I know it takes a long time for things to get done,” said Jon Black, a plumber and Vineland resident.

Both front runners for this year’s election, Republican candidate Kim Guadagno and Democrat Phil Murphy, have visited South Jersey a few times since campaigning started. 

Voting Block NJ SNJ Today 2017 Although the Vineland residents we spoke with didn't realize that either Guadagno or Murphy campaigned in the area, they both agreed they’re tired of seeing the slander coming from both sides.

“To me, it looks childish, and nobody qualifies,” said Anna Madi, a school bus driver and Vineland resident. "You’re both acting like children, and just doing tit for tat right now.” 

At the dinner, held Thursday night in conjunction with the Voting Block Nj project, many topics came up sparking conversation, including local education, healthcare, legalizing marijuana, and the state’s drug epidemic, just to name a few. 

But a big topic of the evening circled around money.

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“I think a lot of money is wasted in politics,” said Black. “You saw how much money they spend on ads and campaigning, that’s several million dollars, hundreds of millions of dollars.”

When it comes to property taxes, both Vineland residents we spoke with say they were comfortable with what they pay, but realize the state’s overall taxes are high.

 One guest mentioned how her mother left the state because of it, but she’s not quite ready to say goodbye to New Jersey.

“As hard as it is to make it here, I feel like it’s home, my home,” said Madi. “And I’m just not ready to leave yet.” 

And while all at the table agreed they love the convenience of New Jersey’s location, in Cumberland County specifically they want to see improvements.

“We contribute to these candidates, and what do they do? They just spend it on ads," said Black. "Whereas if we contribute to these candidates and then they put it towards building new roads, or, you know, building better buildings [that would make things better for Vineland residents].”

On a final note, both residents said they feel that South Jersey gets ignored by Trenton, and they want to see action and details on what plans the candidates have for change. 

This story is part of the Voting Block series and was produced in collaboration with the Center for Cooperative Media, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and members of the NJ News Commons. To read all the stories in this series, visit votingblocknj.com. 


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Vineland Voters Asked: Do You Have Issues?


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