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PRINCETON: Mayor’s fundraiser nets over $8,000 for re-election campaign

Liz Lempert

By Philip Seacn Curran, Staff Writer
Mayor Liz Lempert raised $8,100 from the first fundraiser of her re-election campaign, a race in which the Democrat has no declared opponent in either the Democratic primary or the general election.
On Saturday, she mingled with about 100 guests at a cocktail reception at the historic “Barracks” home on Edgehill Street of Laura Jacobus, in a gathering that read like a who’s who of Princeton and area Democratic politics.
The crowd included Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, (D-16), Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes, school board president Andrea Spalla, council candidates Tim Quinn, Leticia Fraga and incumbent Councilwoman Jenny Crumiller and notable Democratic donors, including Carol Golden and Susie Wilson.
“It was a packed house,” said a Princeton Democrat who attended. “It was full.”
In a phone interview Tuesday, Mayor Lempert explained that even without a declared opponent, she intends to run a campaign to educate voters on where she stands on the issues. Despite no paid campaign staff, she has the usual campaign-related expenses, including sending out a mailer to voters.
In 2016, Mayor Lempert, 47, is seeking a second four-year-term; she was elected in 2012 as the first mayor of the consolidated Princeton. Prior to that, she served on the Princeton Township Committee beginning in December 2008 when she was appointed to replace Phyllis Marchand.
As a Democrat, she supports paid sick pay for all private sector workers in Princeton, favors tougher gun regulations and stands by Princeton being a sanctuary city for illegal immigrants.
In her re-election race, it appeared for a time that a fellow Democrat might run against her. Councilman Patrick Simon had been mulling whether to get into the race, only to decide not to challenge her or even run for his council seat. Mr. Simon was not at her fundraiser.
For the primary, Mayor Lempert has self-imposed caps on how much donors can contribute to her campaign. Individual donors are allowed to give no more than $300, far less than the $2,600 allowed by state law.
She has called herself a critic of big money in politics, and would rather see local funds go into local races. Mayor Lempert said she has received “positive” feedback to the contribution cap that she had imposed.
She began her campaign by rolling over $2,900 from her 2012 election fund. Whatever is not spent on the primary can be rolled over for the general election. 

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