Governor Nominates Anti-Highlands Candidates to Highlands Council

Today is your last chance to oppose anti-Highlands nominees being appointed to the Highlands Council (which is meant to protect the Highlands). Act today – Senate Judiciary Votes on Monday!

Governor Christie is using political appointments as a de facto repeal of the Highlands Act, since he could not get the Legislature to repeal the Act. The two candidates currently presented for approval by the New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee are:

  • Sam Race, Mayor of White Township in Western Warren County and
  • Richard Vohden, newly elected Freeholder in Sussex County.

Both have been outspoken opponents of the Highlands Act and Highland’s DEP rules. Race has publicly encouraged Warren County Freeholders to sue the State to overturn the Act. During his freeholder campaign part of Vohden’s platform was that he is charter member of Highlands Conservation Association.

The Highlands Conservation Association is a misnomer: it does not seek to protect the New Jersey Highlands. It was established to overturn New Jersey State’s Highlands Act, which does protect the Highlands. The Highlands Act can be found at

New Jersey Highlands Coalition Director, Julia Somers, urges, “Do not allow the Governor to play politics with our water supply!”

You can help by calling the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee today. Tell the aide who answers the phone, “I would like to ask the Senator to oppose the nominations of Sam Race and Richard Vohden to the New Jersey Highlands Council.” If asked to give your contact information please do so.

  • Senate Judiciary Committee Members:
  • Sen. Nicholas Scutari Chairman (D-22) 908-587-0404
  • Sen. John Girgenti Vice Chair (D-35) 973-427-1229
  • Sen. Kip Bateman (R-16) 908-526-3600
  • Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-12) 732-933-1591
  • Sen. Gerald Cardinale, (R-39) 201-567-2324
  • Sen. Nia Gill (D-34) 973-509-0388
  • Sen. Joseph Kyrillos (R-13) 732-671-3206
  • Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-20) 908-624-0880
  • Sen. Kevin O’Toole (R-40) 973-237-1360
  • Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-36) 201-804-8118
  • Sen. Bob Smith (D-17) 732-752-0770
  • Sen. Brian Stack (D-33) 201-861-5091
  • Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-37) 201-928-0100

Somers adds, “Most offensive is the fact that Mr. Race is proposed to take Tracy Carluccio’s public spot on the Council, Freeholder Vohden is proposed to take Tim Dillingham’s public spot on the Council. First, both are elected officials taking public spots on the Council; second .. . the council would have not one enviromentalist on it.

Thanks for your interest and phone calls, people!

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