EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of our ongoing series introducing you to candidates of color in South Jersey, those interested in connecting with diverse communities and issues concerning them.
By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
BRIDGETON — Democrats Eddie Bonner and Damita White-Morris bring their education and law enforcement experience together in trying to flip the New Jersey State Assembly District 1 seat in November.
White-Morris, who works with Bridgeton Public Schools and Bonner, a long-time Bridgeton law enforcement officer, take on Republican incumbents Antwan McClellan and Erik Simonsen.
White-Morris was the 2022 Cumberland County ESP of the Year at the New Jersey Education Association Celebration of Women on March 26, 2022. Bonner spent more than two decades with the Bridgeton Police Department.
FRNJ: Why did you decide to run for the two District 2 Assembly seats?
Eddie Bonner: There is no real voice for the people in the first district. The elected officials are all for themselves and I feel that I can be that voice for the voiceless. No one speaks up for us down here.
Damita White-Morris: I am sick and tired of being sick and tired, I’m tired of burying my students, I am tired of my community’s heartbreaking behind the simplest violence as a current within our community, I am tired of the issues plaguing our education system, I am tired of the excuses, the lies, the unfulfilled lies and the list goes on. I’m running to affect the change with effective policies and procedures that is much needed for our communities, for our students, and for our families.
FRNJ: What are two or three of the main issues you are running on?
Eddie Bonner and Damita White-Morris: We are running on education, equality, economic fairness, and family principles.
FRNJ: Some minority voices say they often fill left out in the district. What can be done to make sure their concerns are heard?
Eddie Bonner and Damita White-Morris: We are the ones that we have been waiting for. We are in our communities. We live in our communities. We work in our communities so WE have to go into our communities to help change the perspective as well. We have to understand and educate the issues and to process them to form an unstoppable togetherness.
FRNJ: What are you currently doing for a living, in the community and how do you feel that helps you be a better Assembly person?
Eddie Bonner: I am currently the district manager for armed security service within the public school system. I am a past master of Ionic Lodge No. 40 Free and Accepted Masons Prince Hall affiliate. I’m the Past Patron of Ionic Chapter No. 15 Order of the Eastern Star, PHA and a life member of PBA Local 94. My past experiences have helped to foster the person that I am today, which will allow me to be a better assembly person that my community needs.
Damita White-Morris: I am currently a director for early childhood education. I am a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. South Jersey Alumnae Chapter; the Past Matron of Ionic Chapter No. 15 Prince Hall Affiliate; co-chair of the juvenile conference committee; acting president, New Jersey Federation of Democratic Women Cumberland Co. Chapter; the municipal chair for the city of Bridgeton Democratic committee. I feel that my experience within my leadership, advocacy work, and relationships, I could help our communities with resources and solutions to the areas in which I would represent.
FRNJ: Anything else you’d like to add?
Eddie Bonner and Damita White-Morris: Please remember to get out and vote. Your voice matters way more than you could imagine. Knowledge is power!
EDITOR’S NOTE: We are asking seeking a response from Antwan McClellan and Erik Sorensen. We will publish a Q&A with them upon receipt.
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