SOMA Action Endorses Candidates in Democratic Primary 2020

CONTACT: Jessica Shaw – info@somaaction.org

South Orange/Maplewood NJ — SOMA Action, a progressive grassroots organization located in South Orange-Maplewood. This year, SOMA Action’s sustaining members have voted to endorse several candidates in the 2020 Democratic Primary for Freeholder, an Essex County position. All voters in Essex County may vote for up to four Freeholders at Large. Through a survey sent out to SOMA Action’s sustaining membership, sustaining members voted to endorse Anthony Diaz, Sabre Burroughs, and Simone Jelks-Bandison running for Freeholder-at-Large, and Jennifer Larsen running for Freeholder of District 4, which includes Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Livingston, Millburn, North Caldwell, Roseland, Verona, West Caldwell and West Orange. SOMA Action’s sustaining members are members who pay at least $20 a year in membership dues. 

The full results are available below and on the SOMA Action website, https://www.somaaction.org/blog where one can also become a sustaining member. SOMA Action’s Endorsement Committee & Political Action Committee sent out questionnaires to candidates running in the Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate, Congressional Representative for NJ-10, Essex County Freeholder-at-Large, and Essex County Freeholder District 4 with a deadline to respond by June 1, 2020. (The NJ-10 Congressional race was not put up for a vote by members.)  SOMA Action did not endorse in the U.S. Senate Democratic primary race because neither candidate received over ⅔ of our sustaining members’ votes to endorse.  The candidate responses are available below for the benefit of the public.

US Senate

Congress (NJ-10)

Essex County Freeholder At-Large

Essex County Freeholder District 4

SOMA Action strongly encourages all eligible voters to vote in the Primary and General Elections. All active Democratic and Republican voters in New Jersey should have received a vote by mail ballot for this year’s 2020 July primary. SOMA Action welcomes enthusiastic, progressive people to join our Endorsement committee, where we will be beginning the endorsement process for the General Election. Email info@somaaction.com for information on how to join.

Below are the results from our endorsement survey that was sent out to sustaining members:


SOMA Action Endorsement Results, June 18, 2020:

78 votes total, 13 abstentions are removed to calculate supermajority, leaving 65 votes for consideration.

77% (50/65) of members voted to endorse Diaz.

71% (46/65) of members voted to endorse Burroughs.

71% (46/65) of members voted to endorse Jelks-Bandison.

78 votes total, 22 abstentions are removed to calculate supermajority, leaving 56 votes for consideration.

78% (44/56) of members voted to endorse Larsen.

78 votes total, 4 abstensions are removed to calculate supermajority, leaving 74 votes for consideration. Neither candidate obtained the 49 votes required for endorsement.

End of Results


SOMA Action is a grassroots organization with more than 1900 members in South Orange and Maplewood (“SOMA”) New Jersey whose mission is to drive progressive change. Formed in the wake of the 2016 election, SOMA Action mobilizes residents of our two towns and neighboring communities to advocate for a broad range of progressive policies at the local, state and national level. We pursue results through education, activism, and exerting policy and electoral influence. 

SOMA Action is a 501(c)(4) organization. Donations are not tax deductible. 

For more information, contact info@somaaction.org

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