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Former Parsippany Mayor Jamie Barberio. (Photo: Jamie Barberio.)

Barberio mounts comeback bid in Parsippany

Former two-term mayor, ousted in 2017, is running again

By David Wildstein, April 05 2021 12:32 pm

Former Parsippany Mayor Jamie Barberio filed nominating petitions to seek the GOP mayoral nomination, setting up a potential rematch with the Democrat who ousted him four years ago, Michael Soriano.

Barberio must still win the primary against former Council President Louis Valori, the Parsippany Republican Municipal Chairman.

Soriano ousted the two-term Republican by 832 votes in 2017, 53%-47%.

Barberio must still win the primary against former Council President Louis Valori, the Parsippany Republican Municipal Chairman.

Cori Herbig and Judy Hernandez will run for township council on a ticket with Soriano.  Democrats Janice McCarthy and Emily Peterson are not seeing re-election following a stormy relationship with Soriano.

Republicans have a 3-2 majority on the council after Democrats lost their bids to pick up seats in 2019.

Decades of infighting among Parsippany Republicans led to Democratic mayors for 35 of the last 55 years in a town that once provided huge pluralities for GOP candidates running statewide and in Morris County.

Republicans are battling to keep control of the township council amidst changing demographics that have made the largest municipality in Morris County a swing town.

The local Republican wars go back to 1965, when voters switched from a non-partisan township manager form of government to the direct election of a strong mayor in partisan elections.

Barberio ousted Democratic Mayor Michael Luther by about 600 votes, 52%-48%, in 2009.

Facing Councilman Paul Carifi, Jr. in the 2013 Republican primary for mayor, , Barbiero prevailed by just 89 vote out of more than 4,900 cast.   Democrat Jonathan Nelson nearly pulled off an upset, with Barberio winning by a margin of about 700 votes, 53%-47%.

In the 2017 GOP primary, Barberio faced a challenge from Robert Peluso and survived by around 375 votes out of more 5,100 cast.

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