Members of Congress hear the call to service in different ways. In NJ04, the two Democratic Congressional candidates heard it very differently.

Josh Welle felt a call to service to join the armed forces. At his campaign launch party, the Navy veteran flatly stated “I was in Operation Iraqi Freedom, defending on the front lines. Whether the war was just or not, we answered the call.”

This perfectly encapsulates his campaign: he wants to serve the country, but does not consider the underlying issues, politics, or morality of his service. He doubts the justification of the war, yet has shamelessly used his participation as a marketing tool for his campaign. Welle has not held public office and leans on his veteran status, using themes of civility and integrity while purposefully avoiding concrete policy stances.

Jim Keady, by contrast, heard a similar call in response to the Syrian refugee crisis. "It’s not just a political issue; these are people. These are people that just want a better life.”

These are words Keady has lived by. Whether it was aiding refugees, speaking up for Sandy victims, getting fired while protecting his LGBT students, or living in Nike sweatshops; Keady has consistently been driven by a call to selflessly and unapologetically help those in need. His campaign reflects that, anchored by bold progressive policy stances.

Next Tuesday, Democrats and left-leaning Unaffiliated voters must select a strong candidate to challenge the incumbent. Get to know the candidates and make your choice on June 5!

Jim Silverman 
Holmdel, NJ