Two Democrats today launched their candidacies for State Assembly in the heavily-Republican 26th district against incumbents Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains) and BettyLou DeCroce (R-Parsippany).
West Milford Democratic Municipal Co-Chair Melissa Brown Blaeuer and Hawthorne Teacher’s Association President Pamela Fadden said that will run a joint campaign. They have the support of Chip Robinson, the Morris County Demcoratic Chairman.
“Our district needs the kind of on-the-ground representation that makes things happen. Public service is about listening to people to really understand what is best and what is needed in our communities,” said Fadden, a consultant to the New Jersey Education Association in Morris County.”
Christine Clarke, the Jefferson Democratic Municipal Chair and a 2019 Assembly candidate, is challenging Senate Minority Whip Joseph Pennacchio (R-Montville).
Brown Blaeuer, a member of the West Milford Municipal Utilities Authority, said the campaign will be committed to “build a sustainable economy, and promote investment in clean energy, education, and infrastructure, and reform criminal justice and public safety through prevention and meaningful rehabilitation.”
“We emphasize personal and community prosperity and opportunity, and quality of life in the Garden State,” she said.
Webber and DeCroce face a challenge for the Republican nomination from Christian Barranco, a former Pompton Lakes Councilman and IBEW Local 102 member.
Barranco has been under fire for at least two Facebook posts that included images of a swastika, but told the New Jersey Globe that he is “not a Nazi.”
The image Barranco posted offered a comparison to the National Socialist German Workers and the two major political parties in the United States to show that Democrats are more like Nazis than the GOP.
“That was a share,” Barranco said. “I thought it was fitting for all of those who think Republicans are Nazis.”
Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick said that Barranco’s use of the swastika was “inappropriate.”
“It would concern me that his decision making is flawed and that would concern me as a voter,” Bramnick said.
Demcorats have not won the 26th district since they captured one Assembly seat in the 1973 Watergate landslide.