Matthew Conlon, a rising star in Passaic County politics, will cast his first vote tonight as a new state committeeman in a race for Republican State Chairman.
The 28-year-old Conlon is likely to vote for Bob Hugin, changing the New Jersey Globe tally to 24 votes for Michael Lavery and 16 for Hugin.
Conlin fills the seat left vacant after the resignation of John F. Capo, a Totowa councilman and Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Locals 2, 4 & 5 officer.
The election of Conlon also changes the magic number to win 50% plus one in the race for state chairman from 21 to 22, now that all 42 seats on the New Jersey Republican State Committee are filled and eligible to vote in the 5:30 PM election.
Passaic County GOP Chairman Peter Murphy notified the state party on Monday that had named Conlon with the consent of his executive committee. The NJ Globe was advised that the NJ GOP had accepted Murphy’s letter and that Conlon was eligible to vote in the state chairman election.
Colon was elected to the West Milford Board of Education at age 19 and served as municipal chairman of one of Passaic County’s GOP strongholds. As a candidate for freeholder this year, Conlon carried West Milford, North Haledon, Pompton Lakes, Ringwood, Totowa, Wanaque and Wayne. Donald Trump carried West Milford by a 58%-39% margin.
Hugin, the former CEO of pharmaceutical giant Celgene, entered the race for state chairman on Monday.
A special election was called last week after Doug Steinhardt resigned to seek the Republican nomination for governor.
Lavery is closely allied with Steinhardt. He is a former Hackettstown mayor who served as GOP state chairman for five months in 2017.
Conlon’s anticipated support of Hugin gives Passaic County footholds into both sides of the gubernatorial primary. Steinhardt’s GOP primary opponent, former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli, is supporting Hugin.
The state committeewoman from Passaic, Susan Enderly, is backing Lavery.
Lavery is also getting two votes each from Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Mercer, Middlesex, Salem, Sussex and Warren counties. He also has single votes from: Ben Focarino of Bergen; Steve Solomon in Burlington; Christina Ramirez of Morris; former Toms River Mayor Thomas Kelaher of Ocean; and Bernards Township Committeewoman Janice Fields of Somerset.
In addition to Conlon, Hugin has two votes each from Atlantic, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Monmouth and Union. The NJ Globe tally also has former Moorestown Mayor Victoria Napolitano of Burlington, Joshua Einstein-Sotomayor of Hudson, former Kinnelon Councilman Larry Casha of Morris, Freeholder Virginia Haines of Ocean, and Al Gaburo of Somerset.
Two other state committee votes are less clear: Darlene Shotmeyer of Bergen and Irene Kim Asbury of Hudson.