Carlos Gomez thinks his experience as a first responder and union leader makes him a strong challenger as Democrats pick a candidate to challenge GOP incumbents Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) and Nancy Munoz (R-Summit) in the race for State Assembly in the 21st district.
Gomez works for the Elizabeth Fire Department as an EMT and is president of the IAEP-EMBA Local 87 union. He’s also served as a national representative for the NAGE-SEIU for New York and New Jersey EMS professionals.
“Being a first responder for over two decades, I have seen many issues that affect our residents directly. I know many residents in each of the sixteen communities within LD 21 and I know I can make a positive difference in their lives,” Gomez said. I have spent my entire adult life helping people and as a member of the State Assembly I can continue to help many families throughout the State of New Jersey.”
In 2017, Gomez was the Democratic candidate for Borough Council in heavily Republican Mountainside and came within 260 votes of winning.
Gomez, a realtor with Keller Williams, thinks that campaign will show party leaders how strong a campaigner he is. That’s the message he’s spreading in meetings with Democratic party leaders in Union, Somerset and Morris counties.
“What makes New Jersey a wonderful place is all of us working together. The people of LD-21 will benefit from my diverse background by having someone represent them that has real world experience and work ethic,” Gomez said. “As a loyal, ethical, dedicated public servant I feel that I have a broad view of our district and I am ready to serve.”
Gomez is one of eight candidates seeking the Democratic nomination: Stacey Gunderman, Goutam Jois, Jill LaZare, Lisa Mandelblatt, Ileana Montes, Kyla Rodger, and Scott Salmon.
With the district becoming politically competitive in recent years, Democrats think they have a shot at picking up Assembly seats in a district that they haven’t won since the 1980’s.
Two years ago, Democrat Lacey Cotter Rzeszowski came within 1,554 votes of upsetting Munoz.
The 21st now has 3,607 more Democrats than Republicans, a significant shift since legislative redistricting eight years ago. In 2011, the 21st had 4,357 more Republicans than Democrats.