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Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco (R-Boonton)

Bucco steering clear of Morris freeholder race

Senator says its too soon to back a gubernatorial candidate

By Nikita Biryukov, January 30 2020 2:32 pm

State Sen. Tony Bucco is staying out of tomorrow’s election t ofill Morris County Surrogate Heather Darling’s seat on the freeholder board.

“I’ve made a conscious decision to stay out of that race,” he said. “I think they’re all great candidates, some of which are from my district, so I’m going to stay out of that race.”

Eight candidates are seeking darling’s seat.

Chatham Township mayor Tayfun Selen, Pequannock councilwoman Melissa Florance-Lynch, former Morristown councilwoman Alison Deeb, former Pompton Lakes councilman Christian Barranco, former Madison councilman Rob Catalanello and Parsippany GOP county committeeman Thomas J. DeLorenzo and former Long Hill Township committeeman Bruce Meringolo have all launched bids.

Bucco is also holding off on getting behind a Republican gubernatorial candidate.

“Look, those are all great candidates as well, and I think things will shake out as we get closer,” Bucco said. “I think, as some of the candidates have said, it’s way too early at this point. A lot can change in this environment over the next year. I’d be happy with any one of the candidates.”

So far, only former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli has announced his intention to challenge Gov. Phil Murphy.

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt and Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden are actively considering bids.

State Sen. Declan O’Scanlon has declined to rule out a run at Murphy, though he suggested that, with the field shaping up how it is, there may not be a need for him to enter the race.

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