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Former New Jersey Division on Women Director Ileana Montes. (Photo: Ileana Montes.)

Montes launches bid for 21st district Assembly seat

Former Corzine aide seeking Democratic organization support

By David Wildstein, February 01 2021 7:33 pm

Ileana Montes, a former director of the New Jersey Division on Women under Gov. Jon Corzine, is seeking the Democratic nomination for State Assembly in the 21st district.

Montes is one of six candidates seeking organization support to challenge Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz (R-Summit) and an undermined Republican who will run for the open seat of Jon Bramnick, now a candidate for State Senate.

“Due to the Pandemic and the economic downturn in New Jersey, our state will have to come up with innovative ways to continue financing Medicaid, unemployment, and other programs that are in greater demand,” Montes said.  “I will work tirelessly to attract more businesses to our communities so that we can strengthen our economy and create more jobs.”

In 2018, Montes ran as a write-in candidate for the Mountainside Borough Council when the Dildogate scandal broke after the filing deadline.  She lost by 77 votes to incumbent Robert Messler.

Montes said that despite the financial challenges faced by the state, should “fight fiercely to control the increase of property taxes.”

“New Jersey residents are being forced to leave the state and legislators must act now to lower the cost of living,” she said.  “We need to incentivize municipalities to collaborate in the pursuit of meaningful shared services 2so that our state can operate more efficiently.”

An attorney, Montes is the former president of the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey and served as director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Office for the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.

Also seeking the nomination: former 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; and Harrison Clewell, a former intern for a Hudson County assemblyman.

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