Vying for two Assembly seats in the 7th Legislative District in New Jersey are Democratic incumbents Herb Conaway of Moorestown and Troy Singleton of Palmyra and Republican challengers William Conley and Robert Prisco.
The Republican hopefuls have a long record of public service. Conley, a Cinnaminson resident, is a Palmyra fire battalion chief and truck driver. Prisco is an attorney and has been a Riverside Township Committee member for several years.
While Conley and Prisco strongly oppose a hike in the state gas tax, they offered few specifics on how they would shore up the state’s soon-to-be-empty Transportation Trust Fund other than taking a “hard” look at New Jersey’s $32 billion budget.
We agree with Conley’s statement that something must be done about the high taxes driving families out of New Jersey, and that difficult choices need to be made. But it’s too much of a stretch to conclude that the state’s thorniest issues, like returning the pension system to solvency, can be resolved by finding savings in the budget.
We admire Prisco’s and Conley’s willingness to make unpopular decisions, and value the earnestness and passion presented by both candidates, but we believe Conaway and Singleton deserve our support.
Conaway is a longtime legislator and, as a physician, can offer additional insight into looming health care and insurance issues.
Singleton has made his mark, working on a bipartisan initiative that kept Burlington Coat Factory in and brought Destination Maternity to Burlington County. As a result of his community engagement, Singleton also has been working with banks and mortgage companies to help residents avoid foreclosure.
Conway voted for the 2011 pension reform law, and Singleton said that he is willing to discuss further reforms, but that Gov. Chris Christie needs to live up to his 2011 commitment to contribute more to the pension system.
The governor has hampered their progress on several key issues, including reducing the tax burden. A 2012 Christie veto that blocked the return of $350 million in “energy tax receipts” collected from utilities and energy companies to municipal governments would have provided immediate property tax relief to thousands of county residents.
The incumbents agree that there is a lot of unfinished business, including on the Transportation Trust Fund. Conaway and Singleton have concerns about raising the gas tax because of the effect it will have on people’s budgets. Singleton said he would support an increase in the gas tax only if it is directly dedicated to the fund.
Singleton’s passion for public service and community outreach and Conaway’s legislative and health care experience will serve our county well over the next three years.
The Burlington County Times endorses Herb Conaway and Troy Singleton for the Assembly 7th Legislative District.