As part of our coverage of the upcoming New Jersey election, we attempted to contact, usually by e-mail or Facebook, all twenty-four major party New Jersey Congressional candidates and both Senatorial candidates. Those who responded were sent a list of questions, basically the same questions but modified for specific information already available about each of them. Their responses to these "e-mail interviews" are being organized into individual articles and published in the order in which the responses are received, and indexed here with other election coverage.
Mark Dunec gets credit for efficiency, as his response to the invitation to answer questions was swift and his answers arrived as swiftly. That in itself gives credibility to his assertion that he is a problem-solver: he addresses questions effectively and efficiently. You might or might not agree with his positions, but there is little doubt that he is able to do the job.
He makes it clear that he is not a "career politician"; this is his first political race. Asked what motived him to run, he responds:
The gridlock and inaction by Congress from both sides of the aisle. I have an MBA in finance and more than 15 years experience in the private sector (Wall Street) solving complex problems. I have the education, skill-set, experience and personal character to be successful in Washington to solve our country's problems.
As to what those problems are:
It is all about the economy, getting people back to work, encouraging investment and starting to pay down our national debt. I bring solutions to the table.
Indeed, Dunec's web site offers a great deal of information concerning problems and solutions. The short versions given in the interview were:
Solution 1: Eliminate the corporate tax, mandate earnings distributions and tax that at 40%.
Solution 2: Universal Healthcare--A Single Payer System --this will reduce our healthcare costs by a minimum of 20% and will stimulate the economy through entrepreneurship and innovation.
In the eleventh district he is running against Republican incumbent Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, who took the seat in 1995 from fellow Republican Congressman Dean Gallo. We asked Dunec why he is running as a Democrat in a district that has been held by Republicans for over two decades:
I am a Democrat because of three reasons: Women's Rights, LGBT Rights and Minority Rights.
For those in the district, his web site (linked below) gives extensive coverage of his positions on a wide range of issues. He summarizes his positions as "a fiscal conservative and...socially liberal".
Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of being a United States Congressman is the tension between national, state, and local responsibilities. We asked about this tension:
I am running for Congress because I want to be a part of the national conversation and solve our national issues which I believe are solvable with courageous leaders. At the same time there are district specific issues that I will champion such as obtaining Federal Funds for flood prone areas.
The critical question for voters, ultimately, is what distinguishes one candidate from another. His answer to that:
I am all about solving problems, moving the country forward and helping the many. I am not rigid, it is not my way or the highway. Let the best ideas rise to the top.
To learn more about Mark Dunec and his positions, begin with the Mark Dunec for Congress campaign website, where he gives very detailed statements on issues and objectives. There is also an excellent snapshot biography of him on LinkedIn, and he recommends articles online at The Alternative Press, The Daily Record, and The New Jersey Jewish News.
Our thanks to Mr. Dunec for participating in our efforts. He offered to discuss many of these issues in more depth by telephone, and we are grateful for the offer but not presently able to conduct interviews in this manner.
We will continue providing coverage of all major party Congressional and Senatorial candidates, with focus articles like this one on those who reply to our invitation. If you would like to see coverage of a candidate outside that list, send a note identifying the candidate and the office and we will attempt to make contact.