Assemblyman and county executive candidate Dan Benson (D-Hamilton) has endorsed fellow Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-Hamilton) for re-election, giving DeAngelo a boost after his surprising third-place finish at Sunday’s Mercer Democratic convention.
“Wayne and I have had many accomplishments together in the 14th district and I am supportive of his re-election once again,” Benson said in a statement. “I look forward to running on the line with Assemblyman DeAngelo, and the other amazing candidates in the 14th, 15th and 16th districts who represent Mercer. Mercer’s future is brighter together!”
The endorsement represents a continuation in the thaw in relations between Benson and DeAngelo, who have long been at odds despite running together in the same Central Jersey district. DeAngelo was a prominent backer of Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes against Benson, but switched his endorsement yesterday after Benson’s huge Democratic convention victory.
The same Mercer County committeemembers who gave Benson the Democratic line also dealt DeAngelo an unexpected blow when they narrowly booted him from the line for the Assembly, giving it to newcomers Rick Carabelli and Tennille McCoy instead. Under Mercer Democrats’ rules, DeAngelo will maintain a place in the party column, but the assemblyman has still been forced to fight for a spot that he thought was his by default.
Tomorrow, DeAngelo, Carabelli, and McCoy will compete for the Democratic line in Middlesex County, which makes up around 40% of the 14th district. DeAngelo is likely to get one of the two spots, and Benson’s endorsement serves as further proof that Central Jersey Democrats are rallying behind him.