ADC-NJ Meets with Governor Corzine, Discusses Withdrawal of Support for Arab-American Candidate
On March 28, 2006, members of the Board of ADC-NJ participated with other Arab American community leaders, and the Executive Director of the Arab American Institute in a meeting with Governor Jon Corzine. Community leaders expressed their outrage over the removal of Sami Merhi from the Passaic County Democratic ticket.
Last Friday, Merhi, a well-respected member of the Arab-American community and long time Democratic Party activist, was officially endorsed as the Democratic Party’s candidate for the open seat on the Board of Freeholders. The County Freeholders is the county‘s governing body, comparable to a town or city council. The Passaic County Democratic Party later withdrew their support after stories surfaced about a speech Merhi gave at a fundraiser in April 2002.
After the meeting, Samer Khalaf, Political Outreach Director of ADC-NJ said: “We had a very open and frank discussion with the Governor, who seemed genuinely moved by our concerns. However, our main priority is how the Governor will respond to those concerns, and we are looking forward to his response.”
Both the Governor‘s office and the print media have remarked on the flurry of letters and emails they have received from angry community members regarding the Democratic Party‘s treatment of Sami Merhi.
Herald News, Editorial: The Rise and Fall of Sami Merhi
Herald News, Columnist Jonathan Maslow: Candidate‘s Getting Raw Deal for Remark