What You Need to Know Before Voting at MSU Today


Published November 2, 2015
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The Montclarion

The general election for the New Jersey Assembly is taking place today, Nov. 3, and Montclair State University will be taking part in this election, with different polling locations according to which residence hall a student lives in.

On the ballot for the 34th district – which Montclair belongs to – are Democrat incumbents Sheila Oliver and Thomas Giblin, Republican John Traier and Independent Clenard Childress.

Candidates for local elections don’t have the funds and media platforms to get their message out like they would if it was a national election. However, The Montclarion has put together a primer on each of the candidates appearing on the ballot tomorrow, so that students and faculty can read about where each candidate stands on major local and national issues before going to the polls on Election Day.


Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver Photo courtesy of assemblydems.com

Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver
Photo courtesy of assemblydems.com

Sheila  Oliver has been a part of the New Jersey General Assembly since 2004 and was the Assembly Speaker from 2010 to 2013. Additionally, she is the Assistant County Administrator for Essex County.

Assemblyman Thomas Giblin. Photo courtesy of assemblydems.com

Assemblyman Thomas Giblin.
Photo courtesy of assemblydems.com

Thomas Giblin has represented New Jersey’s 34th district since 2006. He was also the chairman of the New Jersey State Democratic Committee from 1997 to 2001.

Chairman John Traier. Photo courtesy of Traier's Twitter.

Chairman John Traier.
Photo courtesy of Traier’s Twitter.

John Traier is the chairman of the Passaic County Regular Republican Organization and also founded Equality GOP in New Jersey.

Pasotr Clenard Childress. Photo courtesy of Childress' Facebook

Pastor Clenard Childress.
Photo courtesy of Childress’ Facebook

Clenard Childress is the senior pastor of The New Calvary Baptist Church in Montclair, N.J. He created the website blackgenocide.org which intends to spread a pro-life message to the African-American community.

On the Issues

Gay Marriage

  • Oliver helped push and eventually pass a bill legalizing gay marriage in 2012. Oliver was Speaker of the Assembly at the time.
  • Giblin voted yes on marriage equality in 2012.
  • Traier, an openly gay man himself, launched Equality GOP in New Jersey. Equality GOP advocates for the interests of the LGBTQ community, as well as promoting Republican LGBTQ candidates, according to their website.
  • Childress wrote a column criticizing gay marriage and said “homosexual marriage is a threat to the stability of our society.”He firmly believes marriage is between a man and a woman.


Women’s Health

  • Oliver attempted to restore funding to Planned Parenthood in 2010 when she was the Speaker. In response to the League of Women Voters of New Jersey (LWVNJ), she said the state should provide funds for Planned Parenthood and “Planned Parenthood has been at the forefront of providing [women’s health services].”
  • Giblin said funding Planned Parenthood is “the responsible thing to do” when responding to a question from the LWVNJ.
  • Traier told the LWVNJ that the state should fund family planning services for women, but shouldn’t “[reimburse] organizations for abortion services”.
  • Childress is pro-life and he believes abortion is a form of “black genocide,” according to his website. He also says Planned Parenthood is “luring our children into their web of premarital sex and unlimited abortions” and has previously stated “the most dangerous place for an African American is in the womb.”

Gun Rights

  • Oliver sponsored a bill in 2014 that would reduce the maximum magazine size from 15 rounds down to 10 rounds. She supports gun control and was given an F rating by the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF).
  • Giblin said that he supports “reasonable” gun control in response to a question from the League of Women Voters of New Jersey. He also received an F rating from the NRA-PVF.
  • Traier said he believes that New Jersey already has strict gun laws and said “law abiding citizens are being punished more than illegal gun users” in response to a question from the LWVNJ. The NRA-PVF gave Traier a B rating.
  • We were unable to obtain information on Childress’s position on gun control.

Police Relations

  • Oliver sponsors a bill in the Assembly that would require a special prosecutor when a criminal complaint is filed against a law enforcement officer. In response to a question from the LWVNJ, Oliver said she supports the use of body cameras.
  • Giblin said he supports “additional measures to regulate” the police in response to a question from the LWVNJ.
  • Traier believes communities should support the police and also said “the state should support the use of body cameras and increased training of police” when responding to the LWVNJ.
  • According to his website, Childress believes all black lives matter and police brutality is an “intolerable outrage.” Additionally, he said “a young black man who raises his hands, shouting ‘Don’t shoot!’ has a right to be apprehended unharmed.” However, he hasn’t put forward any legislative proposals.

To find out where you can vote on campus tomorrow, read our pre-Election Day coverage here.

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