Republicans are running Irene DeVita for State Senate in the 27th district against whichever longtime state senator emerges from the Democratic primary: Richard J. Codey (D-Roseland), the front-runner, or Nia Gill (D-Montclair). The Clifton woman has lost Assembly races in 2018, 2019, and 201 in the unwinnable 34th district. The 27th is also difficult terrain for a GOP candidate, but she’ll do better in Millburn, Livingston, Roseland, and West Orange than in East Orange.
For Assembly, Republicans are running Jonathan Sym, a U.S. Navy Reserve commander from Millburn, and Mark Meyerowitz, a West Orange investment manager who arguably was almost an assemblyman sixteen years ago.
Meyerowitz might have won the old 27th district in 2007 when the Democratic incumbent, Mims Hackett (D-Orange), was arrested on September 7 for taking bribes to deliver an insurance contract in the City of Orange, where he was also the mayor. Hackett had initially refused to resign and drop his re-election bid – party leaders quickly called upon him to do just that – and Democrats were in danger of losing the seat.
Within a few days, Hackett resigned and withdrew from the race. His replacement candidate, South Orange-Maplewood school board member Mila Jasey (D-South Orange), defeated Meyerowitz by 10,602 votes.
Two years ago, Sym finished 20,070 votes behind McKeon.
Meyerowitz ran again in 2009 and lost to Jasey by 11,558 votes.
Sym and Meyerowitz will likely face Assemblyman John McKeon (D-West Orange) and Alixon Collazos, a public affairs executive and former congressional aide from Montclair. Collazos joined the race on Saturday after Thomas P. Giblin (D-Montclair) announced he would not seek re-election. They face Gill’s running mates, Frank Kasper, a public school teacher from Clifton, and Eve Robinson, a former Montclair school board member.