Mount Olive Native Aiming at Republican Nomination in 7th Congressional District

By Alexander River, Staff Writer

Contractor Kevin Dorlon, who built his very first house in his native town of Mount Olive before moving to Long Valley nine years ago, will be running for the Republican ticket for New Jersey’s 7th congressional district. Dorlon, who has been in Morris County for 48 years, will be looking for a chance to go toe-to-toe agains Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) in a race that may determine which of the two major political parties controls the U.S. House of Representatives at the halfway mark of Joe Biden’s presidency. 

First, however, he has to beat out the competitors from his own party, which include: John P. Flora, John Isemann, Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean, Jr. of Westfield, former U.S. Food and Drug Administration official Rick Mehta, District 23 Assemblyman Erik Peterson, and Philip Rizzo. 

 After discussing his upbringing in Mount Olive, and his years spent at Mount Olive High School and at California University of Pennsylvania earning a B.A. in political science, one wonders what inspired him to run for office.

“I cannot stomach to see the insanity that’s taking place in our government today,” he says in a calm, steady voice. “There’s a very clear divide between the people ruling and the people being ruled. And many of the people ruling are people who park themselves in power for 20 years and pretend to somehow still be in touch with the people they represent. It’s absolutely ridiculous.” 

Dorlon continues, “Back when the Constitution was written, in the early years of the Republic overall, the way things operated was that you, a farmer, would take the day and head over to Capitol Hill to present your grievances. Then, you’d come back to the farm and continue plowing. The system was never meant to have people holding onto public office for decades, and for clear reasons. You can’t claim to have a connection to the people you’re elected to serve if you’ve forgotten what it’s like to be one of them.”

 Among the things that irk Dorlon the most, as well as many of the residents supporting him, are what he refers to as a lack of rationality in policy-making decisions from those currently in charge. 

“I’m a builder, not a rocket scientist,” says Dorlon, “and I need simple common sense. Not too long ago, this country was fully energy independent, and now we are not. How did we allow that to happen? How could we have allowed that to happen? Even if you fabricated it, for a novel, it wouldn’t seem real. It would be unrealistic and yet, here we are.” 

Another big problem for Dorlon is the manner in which the state of New Jersey lists the names of each candidate in its ballot box sheet for elections. Every other state in the union, says Dorlon, presents the names of the candidates running in a single box for the voter to select from. 

In New Jersey, says Dorlon, “a line appears dividing certain candidates from others, giving the impression that the candidates who are on the farther side of the ballot sheet are secondary candidates, because they’re listed in a secondary fashion.” 

Asked about his platform, Dorlon again kept it crisp: “Common sense. I sincerely believe that we need accurate representation by the people, not some set-up where you have professional bureaucrats insulating themselves for decades from the problems the real people are facing day in, day out.” 

 As for what he would do first if elected to serve New Jersey’s 7th congressional district, Dorlon says he would start by having the separating line removed from New Jersey ballots to give each candidate on the ballot sheet equal representation in the voters eyes. 

He would continue by making it a point to stand up to a corporate media industry he feels is bent on stoking divisions within the ranks of American society to keep people from coming together. “There are certainly bad apples in this and every country, but what the media has done in recent years is to actively aim to keep people divided, to keep them too angry to ever consider that the things that unite us as Americans outnumber the things that divide us by a lot.”  

As for his would-be approach to representing his constituents in Washington, Dorlon says that he first has to “make friends before ever smacking the beehive.” The same philosophy extends to the way he has been dealing with his current opponents. “I refuse to run a smear campaign against anyone,” he says. “I have my beliefs, I can speak to them, and I relish the chance to debate anyone, anywhere. But I’m certainly not in the business of starting up or feeding rumors about anyone just because they’re running against me.”

Dorlon counts his wife as his greatest influence and the person he most looks up to, citing not only her role as wife and mother to their children, but as the most organized person he’s ever known, running all administrative matters for his contracting business. 

In the weeks just prior to this interview, Dorlon’s campaign had raised (and spent) $10,000 very quickly. “Every little donation helps more than you might think,” he says. 

To visit Kevin Dorlon’s webpage, and to make a donation to his campaign, please check out the following link:


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