To the Editor,
More than two decades ago, my husband, Jon Edwards, ran for Hopewell Township Committee against John Hart. They had political disagreements. When my husband’s supporters threatened a boycott of John Hart’s store, the two candidates wrote a joint letter, published in a local newspaper, urging all residents not to take part in a boycott.
That reaction by my husband, a Democrat, and John Hart, a Republican, defined Hopewell Township politics for nearly a decade: a commitment to truth, integrity and leaving politics in the political arena.
Fast forward to 2019. A boycott threat resurfaced during the recent election for Hopewell Township Committee with John Hart running for re-election. By contrast, Mr. Hart’s opponents apparently did not do anything to derail a call for a boycott. In today’s political environment, the focus is to win at any cost.
Win they did, but not with the integrity that effective leadership requires.
At the Nov. 12 meeting of the Hopewell Township Committee, a resolution was passed to support local businesses. Ironically, Democratic members of the township committee voted to support local businesses, while doing nothing to tamp down the recent attack on a local business owner, John Hart.
Mr. Hart passionately raised the issue of the boycott, which was fully relevant under the circumstances. The township committee majority reacted with indifferent smirks. Not one Democratic committee member raised their voice in righteous indignation against the boycott threat that occurred a week earlier during the final days of the campaign in horrific Facebook ads attacking John Hart.
I sat in the audience stunned and outraged at the behavior of our community leaders. I felt John Hart’s pain at the prospect of facing an upcoming holiday shopping season with a boycott threat of his business. I ask all citizens of Hopewell Valley, Democrats, Republicans and Independents, to support local business and shop at Rosedale Mills. John Hart is an honest, hard-working man, who has dedicated his life to Hopewell Township. My husband and I are honored to call him our friend.