Home>Campaigns>Garnet Hall is likely Democratic pick to replace Mila Jasey in N.J. Assembly

Deputy Essex Count Clerk Garnet R. Hall. (Photo: Garnet Hall).

Garnet Hall is likely Democratic pick to replace Mila Jasey in N.J. Assembly

Murray-Thomas, a 27-year-old Newark school board member, slated to take open Essex County commissioner seat

By David Wildstein, February 10 2023 9:18 am

Garnet R. Hall, the deputy Essex County Clerk, has emerged as the leading candidate to replace retiring Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-South Orange) in the 28th legislative district.

The 63-year-old Maplewood Democrat became deputy county clerk in 2018 after a private sector career.  She is the Democratic municipal vice chair.

It also looks like A’Dorian Murray-Thomas, a 27-year-old Newark school board member, has become a leading candidate to run for Essex County Commissioner.  Rufus Johnson is not seeking re-election to a sixth term.

Hall would run on a ticket with State Sen. Renee Burgess (D-Irvington) and Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker (D-Newark) in the June primary.

Maplewood Township Committeewoman Jamaine Cripe, former Maplewood Mayor Frank McGehee; and former Maplewood Township Committeewoman India Larrier had also been considered for the post after Democrats decided that the open seat in the newly-drawn district should go to Maplewood.

If elected, Hall would become the first Maplewood resident to serve in the legislature since Republican Mario Genova, an IBEW Local 430 vice president, lost his Assembly seat in the 1965 Democratic landslide.

Following the resignation of Maplewood Township Committeeman Marlon Brownlee in 2016, Hall interviewed with the Democratic county committee for appointment to the seat, but the post went to the municipal chairman Ian Grodman.

A Swarthmore College graduate, Murray-Thomas is the founder and CEO of SHE Wins, a leadership and social action non-profit that serves young girls affected by violence.

The Essex County Clerk’s office has produced several state legislators in the past, including Assembly Budget Committee Chair Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Newark).  Assemblywoman Mary Scanlon (D-Newark), who served from 1978 to 1980 following the death of her husband, a freshman assemblyman, was a clerk-typist on the staff of legendary County Clerk Nicholas V. Caputo.  Caputo’s aide, Charles DeMarco (D-Newark), served in the New Jersey State Senate, for ten weeks in 1971 and 1972 after defeating former Essex County Coroner and Newark barber Nicholas LaSpina.  Another Caputo staffer, Florence Martone, ran for the Assembly in 1985 but lost to Republican incumbent Bob Franks (R-New Providence).

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