NEWTON — Knowlton Mayor Adele Starrs traveled to Sussex County on Thursday to publicly endorse Josh Gottheimer in his run for re-election to Congress from New Jersey’s Fifth District.
Starrs, a member of the Knowlton Township Committee since 2014 and mayor since 2015, is a Republican while Gottheimer is a Democrat and is one of a handful of cross-endorsements.
“My mama raised me right,” Starrs said in her speech. “She always said that when someone does you a kindness, you say ‘Thank you.’ Congressman Gottheimer has really come through in a number of ways for the towns in Warren County.”
The mayor said that since he was elected, Gottheimer and his staff have worked with her town’s staff seeking available grants and has lent his status as congressman to work with non-governmental companies as well.
As an example, she said, “For five years a number of our towns have been trying to get the telecommunications company, Service Electric, to sit down with us and negotiate for better internet in Warren County. For five years, the company ignored our requests and didn’t return our calls.”
When Gottheimer got involved, she said, “We’ve actually gotten Service Electric to sit down to negotiate for better internet. We’ve got another meeting scheduled with them next month to continue those negotiations.”
She also noted the congressman invited a group of mayors to Washington, D.C. to meet with officials of several federal departments ranging from the Department of Defense to Department of Agriculture to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. She said he has also worked to get answers and data about the state Department of Transportation’s plans for a rockfall mitigation project along Interstate 80 through the Delaware Water Gap.
“I am here today, in short, because it’s my job, as mayor, to get things done for my town,” she ended. “The congressman is actually making that possible for me and the mayors of the small towns around us.”
In his response, Gottheimer said he realizes Starrs is likely to “get some grief by standing here,” and knows the feeling. He is a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus in the House of Representatives which is composed equally of Republicans and Democrats.
“Mayor Starrs and I both agree; what matters should not be the label you wear, but, rather, what you do for your community, what you do for your country, and what values you represent,” he said.
Gottheimer faces Republican John McCann in the November election.