Meet David Applefield

David and his wife, Julia.

I am devoted to finding solutions. What I bring to NJ4 is a fresh vision, ideas that will work, and a belief that we must ask the hard questions in order to achieve the necessary results.

I was born in Elizabeth and grew up in Newark, New Providence, and Livingston. My dad was an All-State New Jersey baseball pitcher from Union. My mom was a child Holocaust survivor who arrived in Rahway in 1947. They both went to Rutgers, and married in Carteret 1954. My father worked as a teacher and then stockbroker, and my mother became a social worker.

After high school, I studied at Amherst College and graduated in 1978 with a BA in English. After completing a Masters in English at Northeastern University, I landed a job at UNESCO and then taught at the American University in Paris, where I wrote the guidebook Paris Inside Out and two novels. I started a small publishing and media company and learned the difficulties of  running your own small business. As your Congressman, I want to work to help small businesses thrive without so many burdens.

After my time in Paris, I worked for the London-based newspaper The Financial Times as their Special Projects Representative. For 20 years, I have been publishing special reports on Youth Employment, Leading Businesswomen, Green Energy, African Fashions, Revitalizing US Cities, and Combating Diseases. I’ve worked Europe, across Africa, and throughout the Middle East, figuring out how to connect important content with the commercial support needed to fuel the project. For my entire professional life, I have been working on the question: How to bring the What and the How to the same table. And I want to bring that to Congress.

Beyond the publishing and the newspaper work, I have responded to requests by the US State Department to train journalists and media professionals around the world. I’ve worked in 35 countries, and I’ve made countless friends and contacts. When entrepreneurs need a hand with start-ups, when non-profit organizations ask for ideas on fundraising, when companies need advice on how to promote economic growth and attract investment, I’m there to help.

I want to bring good jobs back to the district. I want to elevate the voices of New Jerseyans who for too long have been ignored and forgotten by their Congressperson.  I want to help produce local revenue and drive down our tax burdens. Let’s make sure we hire everyone at decent wages. Let’s support labor. Let’s reward our teachers who are doing extraordinary work.

We can fix almost anything with imaginative ideas for NJ4. We just need the courage to talk about things that are challenging, and to openly ask why things are the way they are. Why is healthcare so expensive? Why are we not protecting our environment? Why has a District with so much talent continued to send the same person to Washington for so many years?

I want to ask these questions in Congress, and help us get answers. I have a plan for financing local businesses, funding local projects, sponsoring local programs, and empowering local entrepreneurs. I also have a plan to set up cultural and educational exchanges including travel overseas. I have a vision for bringing world-class cultural figures and social thinkers to NJ4.



We need to return to the values of the common good, while being open to the opportunities of new industries and services. Mostly, we need to see with our hearts, ask questions without fear of judgment, aim high, and talk!

My wife, Julia, is a certified sophrologist—that’s a kind of therapy for relieving stress and pain. We have three grown children, Alex (33), a social enterprise trainer, Anna (25), a registered nurse, and Ernesto (22), a professional soccer player. Julia and I live in Red Bank with our adopted black lab.