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  • ELECTION RESULTS 2019: President; Oliver Adler ('20), Vice President; Jake Brooks ('20), Paul Bruce ('20), Jeffrey Kaminer ('21), and Tyler Semon ('21)

East Junior’s father faces titanic Congressional battle

Mike Feinberg ('08)/ Eastside Staff

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UPDATE: Representative Jim Saxton has announced his retirement from Congress because of health reasons. This improves the chances for State Senator John Adler, who is the only declared candidate for the now open Congress seat. With the incumbent out, the Republican Party will likely nominate a younger candidate to challenge the 48-year-old Adler as both parties attempt to secure the seat for years to come.

New Jersey Senator John Adler, father of Alex Adler (‘09), recently announced his intention to run for the Third Congressional District of New Jersey. Adler has been a state senator since 1992, but faces an uphill battle against 12-term incumbent Jim Saxton.

Adler has followed the recent political trend of beginning his campaign very early. Adler explains this early announcement by noting the huge fundraising difference between him and Representative Saxton.

“I am starting now so that this time next year I will match or exceed [Saxton] in terms of fund-raising,” Adler said, “and communicate a message of change throughout the Third District.”

The change that Adler speaks of can be noticed in the legislature that he has sponsored and supported in the New Jersey State Senate. In 2006, Adler sponsored the New Jersey Smoke Free Air Act, which banned smoking in most indoor public areas in New Jersey.

“[That bill] will outlast all of us,” Adler said, “and is an enormous benefit that we can enjoy.”

Adler has also been a strong supporter of gay and lesbian rights in New Jersey. He has voted several times in favor of the rights of gays and lesbians and notes his disappointment that the rest of the country has not followed the lead of tolerance by states like New Jersey and Massachusetts.

Adler would not concede any improvement of the situation in Iraq. Although in recent months violence has decreased, Adler believes that the long-term political objectives of the surge and the continuing American presence in Iraq are not being achieved.

“While the violence in Baghdad has decreased thanks to the number of new American Forces, it’s not a sustainable presence long-term for America, whose soldiers are already severely over deployed,” Adler said. “When you have more troops or soldiers, or policemen, you’re going to have a slow in violence.”

Many politicians have spoken against the war as it has become more and more unpopular, so the Senator explained his potential solution.

“It seems that we have to have the neighbors as partners in finding a solution,” Adler said. He believes the only way for Iraq to work politically is to understand the intricacies of the relationships between the Sunni, Shiite and Kurd populations.

Further elaborating on his views of other foreign policy issues, Adler spoke passionately about his views regarding Israel.

“If you look at the Middle East, there’s really only one democracy,” said Adler. “We should build out from that fundamental proposition that what is good for Israel is good for the Middle East.”

Recently, former president Jimmy Carter spoke out against the United States and Israel favoring aid and negotiations towards Fattah when the Palestinian people democratically elected Hamas. Adler did not agree.

“Gaza is a human tragedy caused almost entirely by the hate and intransigence of Hamas and outside forces that seem to want that hate and animosity to continue year after year, tragically generation after generation,” Adler said. “Quarantining approach may be necessary because Israel should not have to tolerate suicide bombers and the lobbing of shells into Israeli territory risking the lives of Israelis that live close to Gaza.”

As the process to reauthorize No Child Left Behind has begun in Congress, Adler said that the Act has had mixed results. He supports the reauthorization of the Act, but feels there are some important changes that need to be made.

“The philosophy of accountability is somewhat overdue,” said Adler, “[and] it’s helpful to have the federal government urging and insisting that the states provide adequate education for children.”

Adler pointed out that Representative Saxton supported the veto and voted against the SCHIP bill. The bill would have provided health insurance to millions of uninsured children throughout the nation and thousands in New Jersey.

“I can’t imagine why we’d put the interests of the tobacco companies ahead of the interests of children who need access to healthcare and don’t get it by and large unless they have health insurance,” Adler said.

Senator Adler’s son Alex Adler (‘09) also identified this health care problem as one of the most important issues in the upcoming election. Alex Adler is excited about his father’s running for Congress because he has wanted him to do so for a long time. He also believes that Iraq was one of the most important issues coming up in the election.

“I think people in this district will recognize that the foreign policy of the incumbent congressman, Jim Saxton and President Bush, has hurt America, and has affected our lives directly,” said Adler. “I think the people of the Third District will recognize that the failure of providing the expansion of health insurance has hurt families in our district and around the country. [In 2008] people will vote a Congressman out and vote in a new Congressman who is more in step with the values of Cherry Hill and throughout the Third District.”

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East Junior’s father faces titanic Congressional battle