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Irvington Council President Renee Burgess. (Photo: Renee Burgess).

Bloomfield Mayor, local Democrats backing Burgess for Senate

Michael Venezia, all six council members, want Irvington Council President to succeed Ronald Rice

By David Wildstein, September 07 2022 1:10 pm

Bloomfield Democrats have endorsed Renee Burgess for State Senate in the 28th district, giving the Irvington Democrat a substantial lead in advance of Friday’s special election convention to replace former State Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Newark).

Mayor Michael Venezia, who is also the Democratic municipal chairman, announced on Wednesday that he was formally backing Burgess.   Bloomfield has 67 Democratic county committee votes, 24% of the total number of votes in the race to replace Rice.

All six township council members — Sarah Cruz, Dr. Wartyna Davis, Ted Gamble, Nicholas Joanow, Jenny Mundell and Rich Rockwell – joined Venezia in the endorsement of Burgess, the Irvington Council President.

“Council President Burgess has a long history of public service and excellent track record of advocacy for her constituents, understands local issues that impact the district, and demonstrates a keen understanding of the function of good government, as is evidenced through her long tenure of civil service both politically and professionally,” the seven officials said in a joint statement.  “We believe Council President Burgess will be a strong and fair representative in the New Jersey State Senate and we offer her our full support.”

So far, Burgess has emerged as the consensus pick of Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss and Democratic Municipal Chair Bassemah Beasley, and Venezia.  The two municipalities have a combined 127 votes at the special election convention – 45.5% of the total eligible voters.

Two days before the election, Burgess remains unopposed.  It’s still not clear if Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker (D-Newark) will run for the seat.  She is Rice’s preferred successor.

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