WILLINGBORO - A day after Barbara Buono, introduced Milly Silva
, a Hispanic labor leader, as her running mate, the pair took their middle-class message to a senior center in Burlington County.
Buono announced the 42-year-old Silva
would be her lieutenant governor candidate Monday in one of the most energetic events in a campaign that has been hobbled by inter-party strife and defections.
A longtime labor organizer, Silva is the vice president of SEIU 1199, which represents 7,000 nursing home workers in 74 facilities.
But her political resume is bare - having never held elected office and voting sporadically in recent elections - leading the Christie campaign to charge that Silva is uncommitted and unqualified to be governor.
has spent her
life standing up for people like us, the middle class."
suggested the criticism was more about Silva
a woman and noting that two former California
governors - Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger - didn't have to answer those questions.
conceded that her
lack of voting in recent legislative and gubernatorial elections was "embarrassing," but said she
worked hard as a union leader to get thousands of people to the polls.
has been more responsible for getting people to the polls than Chris Christie ever has," Buono said.
"As to Ms. Silva
, I never heard of her until this weekend so it's hard for me to have any judgment on her," he said.
"Me and Barbara share the same values, we know about struggling," Silva
James McGreevey, got the room full of supporters fired up in the minutes before Buono and Silva
took to the microphone.