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State Sen. Nicholas Scutari

Three Union Dem freeholder slates file to anchor local fights

Lisa McCormick, who ran against Bob Menendez in ’18 primary, now challenging Surrogate James LaCorte

By David Wildstein, April 01 2019 5:00 pm

Three full slates of freeholder candidates filed for the Democratic primary in Union County, anchoring several challenges for county committee seats.

Incumbents Bette Jane Kowalski, Sergio Granados and Rebecca Williams will run on the Union County Democratic organization slate backed by State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden), the Democratic county chairman.  Longtime surrogate James LaCorte is also running for re-election on the organization line.

A slate backed by Linden mayor Derek Armstead, a Scutari rival, includes Plainfield school board member Wilma Campbell, Armstead chief of staff Alex Lospinoso, and former Roselle city councilwoman Sylvia Turnage.

Armstead is trying to wrestle control of the Linden Democratic organization from Scutari, the municipal chairman.  He filed candidates for 64 of 72 county committee seats.

Roselle mayor Christine Dansereau is seeking re-election off the line and has formed her own freeholder ticket to protect her ballot position: former Fanwood councilman Jack Molenaar, former Roselle school board member Anthony Esposito and Lorraine McNeil.

Lisa McCormick, who ran against Bob Menendez in the 2018 Democratic U.S. Senate primary, has filed to challenge LaCorte for surrogate.

She has not bracketed with either the Armstead or Dansereau slates – she still has several days to do that – and it is not immediately clear if she will.

In 2010, McCormick ran off the line for county clerk against incumbent Joanne Rajoppi and won 47% of the vote.

Two state Assembly candidates running off the line in 21st district – Jill LaZare and Kyla Rodger — have not decided if they will run on one of the competing slates in their race against Lisa Mandelblatt and Stacey Gunderman.  LaZare has alliances with Armstead and Fanwood mayor Colleen Mahr, who is tied to the Dansereau slate.

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