Home>Highlight>Chaparro definitively says she won’t run for re-election

Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro at Gov. Phil Murphy's fiscal year 2023 budget address delivered on March 8, 2022. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe).

Chaparro definitively says she won’t run for re-election

Mejia declines to comment after Hudson Dems endorse another candidate for his seat

By Joey Fox, January 12 2023 2:57 pm

Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro (D-Hoboken), one of the many political casualties of Democratic maneuverings in Hudson County this year, definitively said today that she won’t run for re-election to the Assembly.

“No, I’m not going to run for Assembly,” Chaparro said. “I can be very clear on that, I’m not going to run. I’m going to support what the line wants to do – that’s fine, that’s the decision they made, and I’m okay with that.”

Chaparro had already implied her departure in a statement released over the weekend, saying that she hoped to “ensure a smooth transition” with the party-endorsed Assembly candidates without explicitly stating she would not run.

But Chaparro’s colleague from a neighboring district, Assemblyman Pedro Mejia (D-Secaucus), declined to comment on his own plans today despite also losing county party support for his seat.

“No comment,” Mejia said repeatedly as he rushed through the halls of the statehouse.

Last Saturday, Hudson Democrats unveiled their official party-endorsed slate for the 32nd and 33rd legislative districts, and neither Mejia nor Chaparro were on it. 

Instead, the party will back Jessica Ramirez and John Allen for the Assembly on a 32nd district ticket helmed by Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-Jersey City), who is running for Senate; in the 33rd district, North Bergen Commissioner Julio Marenco and West New York Mayor Gabe Rodriguez will run on a slate with State Sen. Brian Stack (D-Union City).

That also means the departure of Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez (D-West New York), who has already announced her campaign for West New York Town Commissioner.

Assuming Mejia doesn’t run and win off-the-line – something no one realistically expects him to do – Hudson County will send at least four new legislators to Trenton in 2023. The slate in the county’s other legislative district, the 31st, is still up in the air due to State Sen. Sandra Cunningham (D-Jersey City)’s health issues, so even more new faces could run depending on the outcome there. 

Chaparro was first elected to the Assembly in 2015, replacing former Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia (D-Hoboken). She was the choice of then-Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer (Hudson County mayors get huge amounts of discretion over Assembly candidates); Zimmer was succeeded in 2018 by now-Mayor Ravi Bhalla, who finally decided this year he’d rather put his own preferred candidate, Allen, in the Assembly.

Mejia, meanwhile, was elected in a 2018 special election convention to replace former Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-Secaucus). With State Sen. Nicholas Sacco (D-North Bergen) retiring this year, Hudson Democrats are seeking to make sure that North Bergen retains legislative representation by replacing Mejia with Marenco.

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