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Assemblyman Christian Barranco. (Photo: Christian Barranco).

Jay Webber draws GOP primary opponent

IBEW’s Christian Barranco expected to run in 26th district primary

By David Wildstein, February 21 2019 9:57 am

Former Pompton Lakes councilman Christian Barranco is preparing to challenge Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains) in the Republican primary for State Assembly in the 26th district.

Webber and Assemblywoman Betty Lou DeCroce are seeking re-election and have already secured the organization lines in Essex and Passaic counties.  Morris is lineless.

Barranco is an electrician with IBEW Local 102 and was a Republican candidate for Passaic County freeholder in 2013.  The New Jersey AFL-CIO endorsed him when he ran for councilman in 2016.

Webber carried his home district in his 2018 Republican primary for Congress but lost it in the general election against Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair).

Several building trades unions opposed Webber for voting against the gas tax.

Barranco resigned his council seat last year to move to Jefferson, which allows him to narrowly make the one-year residency deadline to run in the 26th.

In 2017, Webber and DeCroce faced a fierce primary challenge from Morris County freeholders Hank Lyon and John Cesaro.  She defeated Lyon by 1,889 votes, with Cesaro finishing fourth.

Lyon gave up his freeholder seat to run for Assembly, and Cesaro lost the GOP primary for re-election to the Board of Freeholders last year

Verona Democratic municipal chair Laura Berman Fortgang and Jefferson Democratic municipal chair Christine Clarke have already announced plans to run in the 26th district.

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