Linden Mayor Derek Armstead has launched a trial balloon promoting himself as a potential candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor in two years.
The idea that Armstead might run for governor came in a press release issued by the city today touting his own accomplishments as mayor.
“Some political observers have speculated that Armstead’s success could make him an attractive candidate for Governor in 2025, as Armstead’s continued success in Linden may be attractive to voters looking for a leader who can get things done,” the press release stated. “For now, Linden residents are celebrating Mayor Armstead’s success, offsetting a significant financial loss while providing ongoing tax relief for Linden, New Jersey homeowners.”
Armstead has emerged as a vocal critic of the state’s Democratic governor, Phil Murphy, and the increased costs of a health benefits plan administered by the state.
The Linden press release included comments from a validator, former West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi, who “commended Armstead’s fiscal wizardry.”
“There’s a contractual financial responsibility as well as a moral obligation to take care of your municipal employees where the costs are undeniable, so what Mayor Armstead did to eliminate that deficit is creative good government, and it demonstrates what an effective leader he is,” Parisi said.
Parisi has an insurance brokerage contract with Linden.
Armstead served as a councilman from 1993 to 2014, and ousted the incumbent mayor, independent Richard Gerbounka, in 2014. He has been re-elected twice.