Al Barlas raised a mammoth $112,844 for his bid for the Republican nomination for State Assembly in the 40th legislative district, making the first-time candidate one of the top GOP fundraisers in the state just two months after entering the race.
Barlas, the 41-year-old Essex County GOP chairman, has $111,522 cash-on-hand that includes a $2,000 personal contribution.
His contributions include $8,200 checks from two hugely influential building trades union, Operating Engineers Local 825 PAC and IBEW Local 102 PAC, along with $5,200 from the IBEW PAC Voluntary fund. He received $5,000 from the Mechanical Contractors Association of New Jersey and $2,600 from the Port Authority PBA.
State Sen. Douglas Steinhardt (R-Lopatcong) donated $2,600 to Barlas, as did former State Sens. Bill Gormley (R-Margate) and Kevin O’Toole (R-Cedar Grove).
Two days after the 2022 election, Senate Majority Conference Leader Kristin Corrado (R-Totowa) and Assemblyman Christopher DePhillips (R-Wyckoff) said that they would seek re-election on a ticket with Barlas. They launched their campaigns with endorsements from county chairmen in Passaic and Bergen counties and the Essex GOP vice chair.
About an hour after Barlas entered the race, Assemblyman Kevin Rooney (R-Wyckoff) announced that he would not seek re-election.
Legislative redistricting, which Barlas co-chaired, drew a new 40th district that reduced the footprint of Bergen County and added six new Essex towns – enough for Essex to merit one of the three seats.
Redistricting moved Allendale, Ho-Ho-Kus, Midland Park and Waldwick in Bergen and Pompton Lakes in Passaic out of the 40th district and replaced them with Caldwell, Essex Fells, Fairfield, North Caldwell, Verona and West Caldwell in Essex, and Hawthorne in Passaic into the district.
If elected, Barlas would be the first South Asian Republican to serve in the legislature.
Corrado has $117,457 in her warchest and DePhillips has $145,095.
Democrats have not yet picked their candidates.
The 40th has been the most reliable Republican districts in the state.