Democratic State Senate candidate Clifford Dawkins has been endorsed by Lisa Bhimani, the county Democratic vice chair and a legislative candidate in the last two elections.
“In order to win in LD25 this year, our nominee must be able to build a coalition of moderate Republicans, new voters, and voters of color,” said Bhimani, :Through his years of community service in our district, Cliff has deep roots in the communities where we will need the highest voter turnout, and he showed from his race last year that he can win over moderate Republicans. Cliff is unquestionably the best candidate to take on Anthony Bucco this November.”
Bhimani nearly ousted State Sen. Anthony R. Bucco (R-Boonton) in 2017, winning 48% of the vote, and then ran against his son, Anthony M. Bucco (R-Boonton) in 2019.
During the campaign, Senator Bucco died and his son replaced him in the Senate. At the same time, he ran for re-election to the State Assembly. Bucco and Brian Bergen (R-Denville) defeated Bhimani and Darcy Draeger.
This year, Bucco faces a November special election to fill the remaining fourteen months of his father’s term.
Dawkins, an attorney who narrowly lost a bid for Rockaway borough council last year, is one of three Democrats seeking the chance to take on Bucco.
He faces Rupande Mehta, a 2018 freeholder candidate, and Morris Township deputy mayor Jeff Grayzel, a former mayor. The three candidates will face off at the Morris County Democratic convention next month in pursuit of the organization line.
Bernardsville is also in the district, so the three will also compete at the Somerset County Democratic convention in March.
“I am so proud to have Lisa’s support in this race. Beating Bucco this November will not be easy, but it is only possible because of the work that Lisa Bhimani and her running mates have done in previous years,” Dawkins said. “I’m looking forward to continuing to learn from Lisa and representing her and all of LD25 in Trenton.”
Dawkins announced on Tuesday that Eric Baum, a former Dow Jones reporter and Federal Reserve bank examiner, will serve as his finance director.
Draeger is seeking the Democratic nomination in a special election for Bucco’s Assembly seat. She is expected to face Assemblywoman Aura Dunn (R-Mendham), who won a special election convention to replace Bucco in the lower house.