Asbury Park, NJ – On Tuesday October 26, the Monmouth County Democrats held a Black American Caucus, a candidate forum of local public officials running for office in the upcoming November 8th election. As the election nears, community members came to St. Augustine’s Church in Asbury Park, NJ to hear candidates positions on how they plan to advocate for change within their communities in Monmouth County, NJ.

Attendees were Jeffery Cantor, running for Sheriff, Matthew Doherty & Brenda C. Fulton, running for Board of Chosen Freeholders, Vincent Solomeno, III running for Surgo, and Lorna Phillpson, running for District 4 Congressional Seat, with guest speakers Congressman Frank Pallone, and Daniel Harris, who is running for Asbury Park City Council. Each candidate spoke about the plans they planned to change or implement if elected into officer.

The tone was clear, there is a need for change within our educational system when it comes to student loan debt and more representation of African-Americans within our government. Frank Pallone talked about an African-American who was accepted to Rutgers Engineering School, but decided to get a two year degree because he didn’t want to incur an enormous amount of debt.  Frank Pallone said that’s absolutely insane as everyone should have the opportunity to become that lawyer, doctor, or engineer without being deterred because of student loans.

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The conversation continued with New Jersey high costs of  living as Loran Phillpson, who is running for District 4 Congressional Seat, talked about the need to make New Jersey wages higher and livable.

“A living wage in New Jersey is $20, and here we are fighting for $15 dollars and that still isn’t enough”

The forum was very candid as many of the candidates talked about the need for more black representation in our community and the curbing of systematic racism.

Jeffery Cantor who is running for Monmouth County Sheriff stressed the importance for the need for more African-American representation in government office.

“There are more African-Americans in jail, than there are representing in office”.

Check out some highlights below of the forum. Be sure to be in the know about the candidates that are running for office. Election day is November 8th!