2016-02-03 / Local News

Political newcomer wants to become first millennial in U.S. Congress

MEET ALEX LAW…
By JAYNE JACOVA FELD
Voice staff

FAMILY: Parents Peter and Nancy Law, brother Zach

FAVORITE POLITICAL FIGURE: Robert Kennedy

FAVORITE ACTOR: Daniel Day Lewis

FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Kibitz Room

FAVORITE JEWISH FOODS: Hamantaschen & pastrami sandwiches

Spend some time with Alex Law and you will quickly see why this 24-year-old South Jersey native was voted by his 2009 Eastern High School class most likely to become president of the United States.

Law’s ambition to shake up the status quo and his articulation about the issues he supports passionately—from raising the minimum wage to reforming drug, campaign finance and student loan policy to protecting the environment—give him an air of gravitas beyond his two-plus decades. His digital and social media savvy have helped bring far more attention to his long-shot campaign in the First District Democratic primary than would likely be paid to a young challenger who has never so much as run for town council or school board.

“I believe we are showing that we have the ability to help people now,” said Law, a 2013 graduate of New York University’s Stern School of Business now residing in Collingswood. “Some may say I need to pad my resume by running in Collingswood first. But to me, it doesn’t make sense. I’m not in this to be a politician and I’m not in it to make money. I’m in this to help people.”

Although he will just barely have met the age requirement (25) to be a U.S. congressman by the June 7 primary, Law considers his youth an asset. In fact, a giant billboard on the Atlantic City Expressway announcing his candidacy does so by proclaiming “Born in 1991.”

“It’s something we’re excited about,” said Law, who put in two years as a strategy consultant with IBM before quitting to devote himself to the candidacy. “When I win, I will be the youngest person elected to Congress since 1964 and the first of the millennial generation,” said Law, who is trying to unseat incumbent U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross.

Law, whose mother is Jewish, became a bar mitzvah at Temple Emanuel. He still frequently plays basketball at the Katz JCC. Positioning himself as a voice of millennials, his frequent blogs about current issues in the Huffington Post have brought national attention to his progressive politics. A supporter of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ anti-establishment bid for presidency, Law’s posts include: “3 Reasons Why This Jewish American Supports the Iran Deal” and “Campaign Finance Reform: How Can Change Actually Happen?”

With more time than money invested in the campaign, his strategy also consists of talking to as many people as possible before primary day. In one week last summer, he and dozens of college-age interns walked some 100 miles knocking on doors to make his case.

Norcross, 57, a first-term Democrat who has been a strong supporter of Jewish causes, said in a statement that he welcomes the challenge.

“The great thing about our American democracy is that anyone can run for public office and have their voice heard,” Norcross stated. “I always expect to earn the privilege to serve our community come election time.”

Law said his family’s dedication to community service as well as his Jewish values shaped his path. On his father’s side, he is a fifth generation Camden County Democrat. Two of his great-grandfathers chartered the Collingswood Democratic Party. His grandfather and father both served on local governance boards.

A supporter of Israel, Law said his positions were reinforced by his moving experiences on a Birthright trip this past summer.

“In terms of Israel, having recently traveled there, I believe it is crucial for the future of Israel for there to be a two-state solution,” he said. “While I do not support (Prime Minister Benyamin) Netanyahu, as a Jewish-American I stand firmly with the Israeli people. I think the BDS movement is horrific and attempts by extremists to bully countries and people to boycott Israel are wrong. I support the United States’ military support of Israel.”

He added that his Jewish upbringing and values have fueled his ambition to take on establishment politics.

“To me, one of most important aspects of Judaism is the encouragement we get to question and debate issues,” he said. “That gives me the strength to push forward with this insurgency campaign.” .

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