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Harrison Clewell. (Photo: Harrison Clewell.)

Clewell, Montes depart 21st district Assembly race

Five Democrats remain in race to take on Munoz, undetermined GOP nominee for open seat

By David Wildstein, February 23 2021 6:45 pm

New Providence attorney Harrison Clewell has dropped his bid for the Democratic State Assembly nomination in the 21st district.

Clewell’s is on active duty in the U.S. Army Reserve – he’s an officer in the Judge Advocate General Corps – and he’s had limited opportunity to appear at Democratic municipal screening committees and events.

“It didn’t seem that I would get the support this time around,” Clewell told the New Jersey Globe.  “It was a good experience and I look forward to the future.”

The 25-year-old Clewell has been a community volunteer in New Providence and was an intern to Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman Raj Mukherji (D-Jersey City).

Ileana Montes, a former director of the state Division of Women under Gov. Jon Corzine, has also ended her Assembly bid.

“For personal reasons, I am unable to continue my campaign at this particular time,” she said.

That leaves five Democrats competing for two Assembly seats in the politically competitive Union-Somerset-Morris district: Cranford Mayor Patrick Giblin; Bernards Democratic Municipal Chair Elizabeth Graner; attorney Scott Salmon, who has served as counsel to Rep. Tom Malinowski’s two congressional campaigns; National Organization of Women (NOW) New Jersey president Anjali Mehrotra, the Mountainside Democratic municipal chair; and Union County Director of Finance Bibi Taylor.

In the Senate race, state firefighters union president Eddie Donnelly withdraw earlier today.  That leaves Roselle Park Mayor Joseph Signorello as the lone candidate to take on Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick in the Senate race.  The incumbent, Republican Tom Kean, Jr., is not seeking re-election.

The Somerset County Democratic screening committee has recommended Salmon and Graner to the full county convention.

Union County Democrats will award their organization line after a vote of their screening committee in March.

Republicans have not yet picked a candidate to run for Bramnick’s open seat.  Assembly Minority Conference Leader Nancy Munoz is seeking re-election.

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