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Union County Finance Director Bibi Taylor. (Photo: John Henry via Facebook.)

Bibi Taylor seeking Assembly seat in 21st district

Former First Lady of East Orange wants Democratic support for legislative bid

By David Wildstein, February 04 2021 12:16 pm

Bibi Taylor, the Union County finance director, is seeking support for the Democratic nomination for State Assembly in the 21st district, the New Jersey Globe has learned.

Taylor lives in Watchung, one of four Somerset municipalities in the district, but her political connections are largely in Union, Morris, and Essex counties.

From 2014 to 2018. Taylor was the First Lady of East Orange while her husband, Lester Taylor III, served as mayor.  Lester Taylor did not seek re-election in 2017 and has since moved to Watchung.

Bibi Taylor served as town administrator in Dover and later as director of administration and finance and city administrator in Plainfield before then-Mayor Sharon Robinson terminated her. She is a former chair of the Essex County College Board of Trustees.

She becomes the seventh Democrat to jump into the Assembly race in a district that has become more politically competitive in recent years but hasn’t elected a Republican since 1989.

Thomas Kean, Jr. announced on Monday that he would not seek re-election to the State Senate seat he’s held since 2003, a move some think sets up a rematch of Kean’s near-miss congressional race against Rep. Tom Malinowski next year.

Jon Bramnick has locked up GOP organization support in Union, Somerset and Morris counties, leaving one open Assembly seat in the 21st.  Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz is seeking re-election.

Also seeking Democratic party support are: Cranford Mayor Patrick Giblin; Bernards Democratic Municipal Chair Elizabeth Graner; attorney Scott Salmon, who has served as counsel to Rep. Tom Malinowski’s two congressional campaigns; National Organization of Women (NOW) New Jersey president Anjali Mehrotra, the Mountainside Democratic municipal chair; Ileana Montes, a former director of the state Division of Women under Gov. Jon Corzine; and Harrison Clewell, a former intern for a Hudson County assemblyman.

Two Democrats are angling for the chance to challenge Bramnick: Roselle Park Mayor Joseph Signorello and Eddie Donnelly, the president of the state firefighters union.

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