Morris Township Committeeman Jeff Grayzel, the first Democrat to serve as mayor in the onetime GOP stronghold, will challenge Republican Anthony M. Bucco (R-Boonton) for State Senate.
Bucco won a special election convention for the 25th district Senate seat last October to replace his late father, Anthony R. Bucco. Bucco died in September at age 82 after serving nearly 25 years in the legislature.
Jeff Grayzel will face Rupande Mehta and Clifford Dawkins,
Grayzel, currently the deputy mayor, is the third Democrat to express interest in the Senate seat and will face Rupande Mehta and Clifford Dawkins at the Morris County Democratic convention — likely to be held in March.
The winner of the special election will replace the remaining fourteen months of Bucco’s term.
“I’m running because we need leaders who prioritize solutions over petty politics and have a singular focus on problem-solving in Trenton,” said Grayzel. “I look forward to working together to improve our community. “
Grayzel just completed a stint as mayor, and is now serving his third term on the township committee after scoring a landslide 16-point victory in 2018. He won praise locally for keeping his municipal tax rate flat amidst surging commercial occupancy rates.
“I am an experienced and effective leader who advances solutions to our most urgent issues by bringing all constituencies together to buy into win-win results,” Grayzel said. “I have taken this approach throughout my career in both politics and the private sector.”
He is the only candidate in the race who has won elective office — and in a one time Republican stronghold. Mehta lost races for Denville council in 2017 and Morris County freeholder in 2018 and Dawkins unsuccessfully sought a Rockaway Borough council seat last year.