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Former Cranford Mayor Patrick Giblin. (Photo: Patrick Giblin.)

Patrick Giblin mulls bid for 21st district Assembly seat

Ex-Cranford mayor is part of one of New Jersey’s most prominent political families

By David Wildstein, January 21 2021 6:56 pm

Former Cranford Mayor Patrick Giblin is considering a bid for State Assembly in the 21st district, where a possible retirement could create a rare open seat in a politically competitive legislative district.

“I’m still having productive conversations with people in the district and with family as well,” Giblin told the New Jersey Globe.

He said he would make a final decision over the next few weeks.

Giblin is the scion of one of New Jersey’s prominent Democratic families.

His father is Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin (D-Montclair), a former Democratic state chairman and longtime business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 68.

Giblin’s grandfather, John J. Giblin (D-Newark), served in the New Jersey State Senate and on the Essex County Board of Freeholders.  His brother, Ted, is a councilman in Verona, and his sister, Noreen, is a top aide to Gov. Phil Murphy.

If Giblin were to win the Union-Somerset-Morris Assembly seat, it would be the first time a father and son served together in the State Assembly – and the first time any father-child served together in the New Jersey Legislature from different districts.

The open seat is contingent on Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean (R-Westfield) deciding if he will seek re-election to the legislature or run for Congress again in 2022 in a rematch with Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes).

Kean has not yet announced his decision and could wind up doing both.

If Kean declines to run for Senate, Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) is a sure bet to run for the Senate.

Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz (R-Summit) is seeking re-election.

Tom Giblin mounted his first campaign as a State Assembly candidate in 1973, at age 26, when he challenged Kean’s father in the old 25th legislative district.  While future Gov. Thomas Kean won by a wide margin, Giblin lost that race by a narrow 1,070 votes against first-time candidate Jane Burgio.

Giblin was the top vote-getter when he ran for Cranford Township Committee in 2017.  He received 466 more votes than his running mate and 831 votes more than his nearest Republican rival, incumbent Andis Kalnins.

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