By John Celock
A Democratic congressional candidate in New Jersey is placing women’s issues at the forefront of her first ad of the general election.
Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing) touts herself as a “problem solver” in the ad released Wednesday. Watson Coleman is facing off against Republican Alieta Eck for the seat of retiring U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D) in a Democratic district.
“With Washington so dysfunctional we need problem solvers to bring people together and bring results,” the ad said. “That is Bonnie Watson Coleman.”
In the ad, Watson Coleman describes herself as “100 percent” committed to women’s health, abortion rights and equal pay for women. She also notes that her agenda will help young women in the future. She ends the ad standing with a group of construction workers. She received heavy labor backing in her June primary campaign.
Watson Coleman and Eck, a physician who lost a 2013 GOP U.S. Senate primary, are competing to become New Jersey’s first female member of Congress since the retirement of former Rep. Marge Rokema (R) in 2002. Watson Coleman defeated Sen. Linda Greenstein and Assemblyman Upendra Chivakula in the Democratic primary for a district that spans from Trenton and Princeton in Mercer County to Scotch Plains and Plainfield in Union County. The district is considered a Democratic stronghold.
Watson Coleman is a former Assembly majority leader and appropriations committee chairwoman. She served as chairwoman of the state Democratic Party from 2002 to 2006 and chaired Democratic gubernatorial nominee Barbara Buono’s campaign in 2013. Watson Coleman has been known for her advocacy on women’s health issues in the state Legislature, including battling Gov. Chris Christie (R) on the issue.