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Jefferson Democratic Municipal Chair Christine Clarke. (Photo: Christine Clarke).

Clarke to challenge Pennacchio in LD26

By Nikita Biryukov, January 13 2021 5:03 pm

Jefferson Democratic Chairwoman Christine Clarke will again run for office in the 26th legislative district, this time seeking to oust State Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R-Montville), the environmental activist announced Wednesday.

“We need more people in government who are chosen by, from and among the people, who know what it is to budget from a place of scarcity and invest in what matters most,” she said. “If we are going to pay our bills, meet our commitments and save for someday, we need leaders who live that way seated at the proverbial table.”

Clarke has the backing of Democratic chairs in Passaic, Morris and Essex Counties as she prepares to run in the solidly Republican district.

“Christine will bring dignity, common sense and a needed working-class perspective to the Senate,” said Democratic State Chairman John Currie, who also heads Passaic’s Democratic County Committee. “I am proud to endorse her.”

In 2019, Clarke ran for one of the district’s Assembly seats, running 5,631 votes behind Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains) and 5,858 votes behind Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (R-Parsippany-Troy Hills).

“Working together, we can build a job-creating, low-carbon, clean energy economy through which we can stay healthy, stay well and thrive,” Clarke said. “We can work for state dollars to come back to our district for ecotourism, restoration of our historic places and proactive protection of our lakes and forest, while advocating the investments we need to make as a state for our growth and wellness.”

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