The new 25th legislative district team of State Sen. Anthony M. Bucco (R-Boonton), Assemblywoman Aura Dunn (R-Mendham), and Assemblyman Christian Barranco (R-Jefferson) unveiled a huge slate of Republican endorsers today, in a show of force likely intended to deter any murmurings of a primary challenge.
Among the endorsers are Morris GOP Chair Laura Marie Ali, Passaic GOP Chair Peter Murphy, every countywide officeholder (with the exception of county surrogate, a judicial role that does not generally make endorsements), all 14 Republican mayors in the 25th district, and 243 of the district’s 305 Republican county committee members.
“Senator Bucco has been a commonsense leader for us in Trenton – fighting for taxpayers, leading bipartisan efforts to fight rising crime, and securing important funding for our schools and vulnerable populations,” Morris County Sheriff Jim Gannon said in a statement. “[Bucco, Dunn, and Barranco] are fighting the Trenton Democrats’ agenda of higher taxes, big spending, and extreme policies.”
There hasn’t yet been anything to suggest that the three incumbent legislators are in danger of being challenged in this year’s Republican primary. However, Barranco is new to the district – he currently represents the 26th district – and Dunn and Bucco are both running in new territory they’ve never represented before.
If there’s any excitement in Morris County primaries this year, it’s looking more likely to come in the neighboring 26th legislative district or in a race for county commission. 26th district State Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R-Montville) may face a primary challenge from County Commissioner Tom Mastrangelo, while 2022 congressional candidate Paul DeGroot appears to be gearing up to take on County Commissioner Tayfun Selen.
Depending on how those races shake out, there could be ripple effects on the 25th district, since the losers of the Republican convention may try to recruit off-the-line slates of candidates across the county.