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Dr. Lisa Bhimani, an obstetrician and gynecologist from Mendham Township, is seeking the Democratic nomination for State Assembly in the 25th district

Bhimani will challenge Bucco for Assembly

Democrat who nearly toppled Senator Bucco takes aim at Assemblyman Bucco

By David Wildstein, November 10 2018 11:39 am

Democrat Lisa Bhimani, who nearly ousted State Sen. Anthony R. Bucco last year, will challenge incumbent Anthony M. Bucco for State Assembly in the 25th district in 2019.

Bhimani held Bucco to a 52%-48% margin in 2017 in a district that has 9,332 more Republicans than Democrats.  She now taking aim at Bucco’s son, a five-term assemblyman who has been viewed as heir apparent for his father’s senate seat.

The Mendham Township physician was the top recruitment choice of Assembly Democrats, who view the 25th as a potential pickup next year.  Bhimani is expected to make a formal later this month.

“Last year, Dr. Bhimani waged a tremendous race distinguishing herself as a formidable candidate in the future,” said Michael Muller, who heads the Assembly Democratic campaign committee.  “We couldn’t be more excited that she will be running for assembly.”

Republican Michael Patrick Carroll, in office since 1996, is not seeking re-election.

Morris County Republicans are expected to have a primary fight for Carroll’s seat.  So far, only Denville councilman Brian Bergen has entered the race.

While the Morris County district, which also includes Bernardsville in Somerset, has been held by Republicans since 1979, Democrats have made major gains in recent years.  Hillary Clinton won the 25th, albeit by just 18 votes, and Democratic congressional candidates combined for a 9,479-vote win on November 6.

Democrats won control of one of the largest town’s in the district, Morris Township, this cycle. One of the Republicans who lost re-election was Bruce Sisler, Assemblyman Bucco’s chief of staff and a potential candidate for Carroll’s seat.

Since her last campaign, Bhimani took a leadership role in March for Our Lives, a group that advocated gun safety.  Bucco has a 100% rating from the National Rifle Association.

She became the Morris County Democratic vice chair in 2017 and helped elect two Democrats, Mikie Sherrill and Tom Malinowski, to the U.S. House of Representatives.

The 25th includes 21 municipalities in Morris and Somerset counties: Bernardsville, Boonton Borough and Boonton Township, Chester Borough and Chester Township, Denville, Dover, Mendham Borough and Mendham Township, Mine Hill, Morris Township, Morristown, Mount Arlington, Mountain Lakes, Netcong, Randolph, Rockaway, Roxbury, Victory Gardens, Washington, and Wharton.

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8 thoughts on “Bhimani will challenge Bucco for Assembly

  1. Little Bucco has had this coming for a long long time. Best of luck to Lisa. Time to keep changing CD11. Now it’s time to Flip the 25th!

  2. Comparing the numbers for Congress paints an incomplete picture of the 25th district. In the 25th district towns (excluding Bernardsville), Ann Grossi beat her opponent by 16,008 votes, and the Republican Freeholder candidates received 32,704 more votes than their Democrat opponents. That certainly paints a more accurate projection for 2019 than using the congressional statistics since next year’s race won’t have any candidates higher than assembly on the ballot.

    1. The congressional numbers only included the towns in the 25th. It’s just an example of a solidly Republican district voting Democratic.

    2. I agree with David Wildstein that LD25 will likely be won by Assemblyman Bucco and his running-mate next year. If you look at some of the towns, you’ll notice people switched back and forth between the GOP and Democrats. In Randolph, for example, Republicans kept the Council and people voted for Clerk Ann Grossi and Bob Hugin for U.S. Senate. But residents voted Democrat for Congress and Morris County Freeholder. In Mountain Lakes, people voted Democrat for Congress, voted Republican for County Clerk and U.S. Senate, split their ticket for Freeholder, and as of now the Democrats won a council seat though I’m not sure if that’s been declared official yet. Democrats also swept Wharton other than Mayor and Council where the GOP was unopposed. Mine Hill also voted Republican for U.S. Senate and County Clerk, but Democratic for Congress and people split their ticket for Freeholder. Now, the good news for the GOP is some of the larger towns in the district (Roxbury, Washington Township) remain reliably Republican. But other key towns have now become Democrat (Morris Township) and others can be considered purple (Randolph). Since it’s not an electoral college, both sides have to get their supporters out. On paper, this should benefit the GOP since it’s still a Republican district. But there is room for a Democratic upset if Republicans stay home and Democrats come out to vote.

    1. That would be up to the Assembly Republican caucus, since there is no line of succession. #3 in leadership is Nancy Munzoz, but if Bramnick is gone, Munoz would be gone too.

  3. Bye-Bye Bucco. I agree with Samantha, it has been a long time coming. Time for fresh faces and fresh ideas. Talk is cheap and the status-quo isn’t producing results.

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