Like Democrats across the nation, Harding Township Democrats have been re-energized at the grass roots level by the election of Donald Trump.  Harding Democrats took part in the Women’s March on Washington, show up at the weekly Friday protests at Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen’s office in Morristown, and are preparing to run a slate of candidates for Harding Township Committee.  
Mark Magyar serves as Harding Township Democratic Chair, Betsy Flanagan as Vice-Chair, and Amanda Richardson as Secretary.  You can reach us by email at hardingdems@gmail.com or by posting to our Harding Township Democrats Facebook page.
We have four standing committees: Federal/State Issues, Local Issues, Communications, and Fundraising/Events.  Please email if you’d like to join.

We are proud to have two talented individuals running for Township Committee in 2017 with an equally talented Campaign Manager.
Candidates Rhonda Allen (left) and Kate Barry (right) with Campaign Manager Amanda Richardson (center).  More information on the candidates can be found in the “Candidates” tab above.

Elect Richardson in Harding, ‘well-educated,’ ‘determined’

Observer-Tribune  Oct 13, 2019


I want to encourage residents of Harding Township to vote for Amanda Richardson for a position on the Harding Township Committee in the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Amanda is young, active, well-educated, engaged in Democratic politics, determined and dedicated to protecting this unique community, while bringing an enhanced level of communication, accountability and transparency to committee meetings.

Amanda will help residents make informed decisions by making recordings of township meetings available to the public in order to facilitate everyone’s understanding of township issues.

She also plans to hold o!ce hours and one-on-one meetings on di”erent days and at varied times to create a better informed citizenry. This will also mean that Amanda will be a better informed member of the Township Committee, thanks to these information exchanges. She will

learn what citizens want and need and will bring a fresh voice to the committee. She is determined to protect the natural beauty of Harding; while maintaining low taxes.

Amanda Richardson grew up in Harding, with the Great Swamp in her backyard. Her impressive education credentials include an undergraduate degree from Amherst College and a law degree from Columbia University.

As the co-founder of Resource Equity, an international NGO that works on land rights, Amanda has dealt with issues like land tenure; reform, community rights, and program management.

Amanda and her husband, along with their young son, made a considered decision to return to her childhood home and to help the town she loves become more inclusive through transparent political decisions, communicated simply and clearly to all the citizens of Harding.


Tulip Lane, Harding Township

Richardson has right qualities for Harding Township

Observe er-Tribune  Oct 9, 2019


I write in support of the candidacy of Amanda Richardson for a seat on the Harding Township Committee on Nov. 5.

Amanda is a remarkable individual and her enthusiasm and skills will be a valuable asset to any organization. She grew up in Harding and returned !ve years ago to raise her family here. This history gives her a strong sense of Harding as a community and demonstrates a commitment to the future of Harding.

Amanda represents a constituency that has not been very visible on recent Township Committees – a millennial with deep roots in the community who is willing to put herself forward to give back to the community.

Her experiences as a practicing attorney and the founder of Resource Equity (a non-pro!t with a mission of empowering women internationally) along with her roots in Harding position her to be an e”ective member of the Harding Township Committee.

Please consider her candidacy (additional information at amandaforharding.com) and I hope you will conclude as I have that she is worthy of your vote on Nov. 5.


Lake Trail West, Harding Township

Democrat Amanda Richardson runs for seat on Harding Township Committee

Observer Tribune 20-March-2019

Amanda Richardson, shown with her husband, Matt, and son, Henry.

HARDING TWP. – Amanda Richardson, chairwoman of the Harding Township Democratic Committee, is running for a three-year seat on the Township Committee.

The Woodland Road resident will be on the ballot for the Tuesday, June 4, primary and the general election ballot on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Richardson plans to run in the November general election against GOP Committeeman Nicolas Platt. Platt said he plans to run for what would be his fourth term on the Township Committee. No other candidates have announced their intentions to date. The deadline for ling to run in the primary is Monday, April 1.

Platt was chosen by the then-Township Committee to replace Republican Jim Rybka, who resigned abruptly in 2009. Platt then ran for election, and was elected to another two, three- year terms.

Richardson said in a statement that she has received the Democratic committee’s unanimous endorsement at a meeting last Wednesday night.

“Harding is an oasis in New Jersey: a small-town community that has kept its character with a commitment to preserving open space and keeping taxes low,” Richardson said. “This is what brought my family here over 30 years ago and it is why I returned to Harding with my husband to raise our family here.

“Growing up in this idyllic place, with the Great Swamp in my backyard, inspired my work on land and resource rights. As I embark on this campaign and as a Township Committee member, I pledge to preserve Harding’s rural character, to maintain its low taxes and scal discipline, and to move forward with a respectful campaign and healthy debate focused on the issues,” she said

Richardson and her husband, Matt Eckman, have a son, Henry, 2.

She is a lawyer, having graduated from Amherst College and Columbia University Law School. She founded a non-profit organization, Resource Equity (resourceequity.org), that is focused on promoting women’s rights to land and resources in developing countries.

Richardson was elected to the Democratic County Committee in 2016 and quickly became a leader of the resurgent Harding Township Democratic Committee that emerged as part of the anti-Trump blue wave that culminated in the election of Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-11, in November.

Richardson was elected vice chair of the Harding Township Democratic Organization in January 2017 and was elected chair last June. She managed the unsuccessful Township Committee campaigns of Rhonda Allen and Kate Barry in 2017 and 2018.

“The candidacies of Rhonda and Kate highlighted the benefits of bi-partisan debate and representation in the township and brought a voice to those in Harding who do not currently feel represented,” Richardson said. “With open debate and a healthy competition of ideas from varying perspectives, democracy thrives. I look forward to engaging in a vigorous dialogue on the complex issues facing our community in the years ahead.

“We are a small town with big issues: implementation of our affordable housing obligation, the Verizon cell tower at the recycling center, the future of Glen Alpin, and, inevitably, others that will likely arise in the future.

“We need to do everything we can to engage all of our neighbors in the decisions of the Township Committee that can affect their daily lives and their property values. As a member of the Township Committee, I will bring my professional experience and education to discharge my responsibilities.

“As a co-founder of my non-prot organization, I have experience running a business, from budgeting and managing contractors and employees, to negotiating contracts and implementing major projects. As a lawyer, I have experience parsing and crafting laws, regulations, and resolutions.

“Equally important for my role on the Township Committee, I have extensive experience working with and listening to communities to help bring them the assistance they most need,” she said.

Richardson said Harding is changing politically.

“Growing up, I viewed Harding as a Republican town. Today, the political spectrum is broader, as evidenced by the results of the 2018 election. I have been pleasantly surprised by how many people have become very active participants in not only our Democratic Committee, but also as enthusiastic citizens in other groups such as the Harding Non-Partisans,” Richardson said.

“Harding residents are more engaged and aware of the need for transparency and bipartisanship as key components to successful local government

“Positive change has begun. During their campaign, Kate (Barry) and Rhonda (Allen) provided data showing the lack of broad representation on the township boards and commissions. Kate has since been appointed to the Environmental Commission, which has increased representation to two Democrats.

“One of the goals of my campaign is to continue push for more inclusion and transparency as vacancies on these commissions and boards are filled,” she said.

Barry is Richardson’s campaign manager and Molly Riley is treasurer.

“As Harding evolves, bringing together long-time residents and relative newcomers, I am committed to ensuring that all residents feel heard and represented. It is at the local level that many of the decisions that most aect our lives are made,” Richardson said. “These are not partisan issues. We need to move our Township Committee to a more collaborative, open, and transparent process by taking steps beyond the required legal notices and agenda postings to ensure eective communication and understanding among all of our residents. Giving all residents the information they need to evaluate how decisions aect them and the opportunity to be heard before those decisions are made would be a major focus of my tenure on the committee.”

Allen, Barry grateful for Harding support

Observer Tribune  Nov 20, 2018


We would like to extend our congratulations to Ms. (Nanette) DiTosto and Mr. (Tim) Jones on their election to the Harding Township Committee and to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who supported us and worked tirelessly throughout our campaign, especially our families whose eternal support is deeply appreciated.

We were truly humbled by the dozens of volunteers who hosted events in their homes, accompanied us while canvassing and campaigning at the post office, stuffed envelopes, made phone calls and donated to our campaign.

Amanda Richardson, the current chair of the Harding Township Democrats, deserves special recognition for her work organizing our group and barely coming up for air in the the weeks leading to the election. Special thanks also to Ayse Ergene, our student intern from Seton Hall University, whose competence, skills, willingness to help, kindness, patience, and dedication were invaluable.

We thank the League of Women Voters for coming to Harding with five volunteers to moderate a very successful and impartial candidates forum. Thank you also to the Harding Township Civic Association and the Church of Christ the King for hosting.

We were thrilled and honored to welcome Congressional candidate (now Congresswoman- Elect) Mikie Sherrill and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker to the New Vernon Post Office on the Saturday before the election. Thank you to the more than 100 Harding residents and neighbors who joined us that day and to the Harding Police Department who recognized our gathering for what it was, a peaceful citizen assembly. This is what democracy looks like.

Thank you to the poll workers, who were at town hall from the crack of dawn on election day to ensure all residents who so chose were able to cast their ballots. We were delighted and humbled to have earned nearly 800 votes this year (about 300 more than 2017). Our percentage increased from 33 percent in 2017 to 36 percent this year.

We were proud to do our part as well to support Congresswoman-elect Mikie Sherrill, who earned 45 percent of the vote in Harding Township.

It was a pleasure and an honor running for office in Kate’s hometown and Rhonda’s home of nearly 30 years. We look forward to remaining active, meeting more residents, and ensuring that the members of our community feel comfortable being and supporting Democrats. We are excited for Harding Township’s future.


Deer Ridge Drive


Meyersville Road

Harding Township

Election is sign to be optimistic in Harding

Observer Tribune  Nov 20, 2018


There is reason to be optimistic about the state of democracy in our community following last Tuesday’s election.

First and foremost, in Harding, in the larger Congressional District 11 and across the country, Americans came out in higher numbers to cast their ballot. Nearly 61 percent of Harding voters exercised their most precious right on Tuesday, as compared to the 43 percent who voted in Harding in the last midterm election. This uptick is a very welcome change from the 2014 midterm that marked the lowest nationwide voter participation in nearly 75 years.

With an open field after the retirement of U.S. Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen who represented the district since 1995, both the Republican and Democratic party competed for our votes. This is a good thing. It imbued a level of enthusiasm and engagement to the race and gave residents a fresh opportunity to assess and to weigh-in on the representation they seek from their congressional, county and local officials.

Allen and Barry will stimulate civic involvement in Harding

Letter to the Editor; Observer-Tribune; Oct 3, 2018


Let’s welcome two new faces on the Harding Township Committee: Allen and Barry.

I am writing in support of Rhonda Allen and Kate Barry for Harding Township Committee. Both women are long time residents spanning three generations here. Both have impressive educational backgrounds: Dr. Allen has a PhD in clinical psychology and Ms. Barry holds a masters in environment and sustainable development.

They are committed to Harding’s green spaces and low taxes.

Continue reading “Allen and Barry will stimulate civic involvement in Harding”

Vote Barry, Allen for diversity in Harding Township

Letter to the Editor; Observer-Tribune; 03-Oct-2018


I wholeheartedly support the candidacies of Kate Barry and Rhonda Allen for seats on the Harding Township Committee.

Kate and Rhonda are both well qualified and prepared to assume the role of Township Committee members.

Continue reading “Vote Barry, Allen for diversity in Harding Township”