Meet Andrew Zwicker, a progressive in a swing district

By Libbing Barrera
Spring Valley, NY

Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker made clear at a press conference on Saturday that he’s not willing to abandon his progressive beliefs despite running for reelection in a swing district.

Zwicker, a physicist at Princeton, is running to continue representing the 16th district against former Assemblywoman Donna Simon and former Montgomery mayor Mark Caliguire, both Republicans.

His background as a scientist heavily impacts his stance on several controversial topics. He believes in a woman’s right to choose and is greatly involved in trying to pass renewable energy initiatives. He also supports the STEAM fields (he made sure to point out the A stands for arts).

Zwicker said he is working to protect undocumented immigrants and make sure they will always have legal help available. He also mentioned working on a recent bill to help transgender students. Zwicker has “no tolerance” for most of Trump’s policies and said he will not “compromise when it comes to how we treat human rights.”

If he is reelected, one of the policies he is looking forward to reintroducing is the New Voter Empowerment Act, which would allow certain individuals under the age of 18 to vote. He believes this will help in “increasing voter turnout.” Zwicker is a firm believer in taking full advantage of our democratic rights and called it a “moral obligation … to participate in our democracy.” He is also interested in passing more solar and wind energy initiatives, which he feels initially failed because of New Jersey’s Republican governor, Chris Christie.

According to Zwicker, his relationship with Christie is “nonexistent.” The two have met twice. In their first encounter, he recalled that Christie exclaimed, “So you’re the rocket scientist!” Despite making a joke out of it, Zwicker struggled to say anything cordial about Christie. He feels the governor “abandoned the state.”

When questioned about New Jersey’s future, he seemed extremely confident in its ability to thrive. Zwicker believes a Democratic wave will occur in the upcoming election for governor and “New Jersey will send a message to the whole country.”

As for his own future, Zwicker will be glad if he is reelected for the next two years, but if he isn’t, he said, at least “it’ll be a great story to tell my grandchildren.”

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