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Former Montgomery Mayor Sadaf Jaffer. (Photo: Sadaf Jaffer.)

Hunterdon Democrats backs Jaffer for open Assembly seat

By David Wildstein, March 14 2021 4:42 pm

Former Montgomery Mayor Sadaf Jaffer picked up her third organization line as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for State Assembly in the 16th district, winning the Hunterdon County Democratic convention on Sunday.

Hunterdon Democrats also endorsed the re-election of Gov. Phil Murphy and Assemblyman Roy Freiman (D-Hillsborough), and backed the candidacy of Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-South Brunswick) for the 16th district Senate seat.

The 38-year-old Jaffer defeated Princeton Councilwoman Michelle Pirone Lambros and Chris Fistonich, a Yale-educated PhD immunologist, cybersecurity analyst and opera singer.

Freiman finished first with 44 votes, with 34 for Jaffer, 18 for Pirone Lambros and 16 for Fistonich.

Jaffer became the presumptive nominee last month when Central New Jersey Democrats agreed to support Zwicker for the Senate seat that Republican Christopher Bateman (R-Branchburg) is giving up after fourteen years.

Somerset County Democratic Chair Peg Schaffer agreed to support Zwicker for Senate, with part leaders naming Jaffer as his replacement in the Assembly.

Jaffer has already won the organization lines in Somerset and Middlesex.

If she wins, Jaffer will become the first woman from Somerset County to serve in the Assembly since Denise Coyle (R-Bernards) left the legislature in 2012, and the first Asian American to represent the county since Upendra Chivukula (D-Franklin) resigned in 2014 to take a seat on the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.

Jaffer would also become the first Muslim to serve in the New Jersey Legislature.

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