By Marsriana Datta
For Andrew Zwicker, a Democrat running for the New Jersey General Assembly in the 16th District, science as well as politics can help to solve the state’s problems.
“The one thing I promise to do is use evidence to make decisions,” Zwicker said at a press conference with the Princeton Summer Journal on Aug. 1.
Zwicker, who is a physicist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, is focusing on protecting the environment and ensuring better job prospects for college graduates.
But Zwicker, 51, faces an uphill battle in the Nov. 3 election. A Democrat has not served the 16th District since 1976, according to the Times of Trenton. “The biggest challenge is getting my name out to the voters,” he said.
Zwicker ran for Congress in 2014, competing for the seat opened by retirning Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.), but he lost in the primary.
During the press conference, Zwicker’s answers suggested that although he is running for statewide office, his broader concern is the whole world. Zwicker studies fusion energy as a way to cut down on pollution.
“As a scientist, I want to change the world,” he said. “As a politician, I want to try to make New Jersey better.”
Zwicker told the audience that he has researched reusable energy for over 20 years. “We have an enormous problem of scientific illiteracy,” Zwicker said of other politicians.
He explained how the money the government invests in science benefits the United States in many ways. Yet many elected officials cut science budgets anyway. “I will insist that the U.S. becomes a leader when it comes to climate change,” he said.
When asked what he thought about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Zwicker said, “I have a real problem with this governor. His actions suggest that he has abandoned New Jersey.” He cited Christie’s focus on the 2016 election as the cause for his neglect of New Jersey’s economic issues.
Asked which presidential candidate he would vote for, Zwicker indicated he agreed with the policies of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), but ultimately concluded that he “would be very proud to vote for the first woman president in the White House,” alluding to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.