SOMERVILLE – Amber Murad’s parents embarked on a 12-year journey to bring their whole family to the United States of America.
Her father, a military officer, envisioned a better life for his children and took the costly and painstaking steps to obtain legal citizenship for all of his children.
Parents came first.
Amber Murad was born here from New York.
But it took more than a decade for his siblings to finally join the retired soldier and his wife.
The Murads’ path led to Queens, and eventually to Watchung, where Amber Murad, now a local school board member and married mother of two young children, hears the continuing call of family and country, the values she wants. incarnate as a member of the Somerset County Commission.
Running on a Republican ticket with Bridgewater Councilman Michael Kirsh, Murad faces a tough county-wide first test against outgoing commissioner director Shanel Robinson and commissioner Sarah Sooy, both Democrats seeking to maintain control of a county they snatched from the GOP in 2019.
A candidate for strong family values with a background in business administration and banking, Murad has campaigned avidly with Kirsh since elementary school and tries to connect – especially – with independent voters.
“I am really inspired every time I knock on a door,” Murad told InsiderNJ at the Republican Party headquarters in downtown Somerville. “My greatest experience in interacting with people is that I can see what good leadership can do. Road safety is very important to me in this county. I think the least we can do for the county is to make sure my husband and kids are safe on the roads.
She also pays considerable attention to defending her arguments based on better government communication with a particular focus on improving the lives of children compromised by COVID.
Murad gave birth to her youngest child, a daughter, in January 2021, amid the pandemic. Her son had the challenge of trying to get an education virtually.
Murad felt the impact of the state’s education policies as Gov. Phil Murphy tried to stem the scourge of COVID. She opposes some of them. “We should have kept the children in school and used the funds better,” the Republican candidate for the Somerset Commission said. “The state has access to billions of dollars and my school district has only received $ 200,000. I think this is an unfair allocation of funds.
She recognized the formidable challenges of the unknown at the time of the pandemic, but criticized Democrats in charge at all levels. “There is not enough interaction between the county and the local level,” said Murad. “There was a huge divide between the county and the local levels across [the worst f the pandemic]. No one knew what was going on. It happens when you are disorganized and unfit to lead, for lack of a better word. “
It’s a tough election for Murad and Kirsh, who face the harsh reality of Democrats consistently defeating the GOP here in Somerset during the Trump years. But the couple feel they have not only an American story to tell as Muslim and Jewish running mates respectively, but a uniquely Republican story, they say, grounded in the priorities of country, community and family.
“When my mother passed away in 2017, it was the community that helped me recover,” said Murad, campaigning with his son and daughter. “Being able to deal with grief – things like setting up a meal train – my mom was in hospice – community was essential for me. Letting go through the process and feeling the pain, knowing that it will never go away, deepens the love and care and all that goes with it; that’s what my mom used to do, and that’s what happens when you stay in one place and know a community, and that’s what i want to leave to my kids too.
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