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Assembly candidate Jill LaZare

Mandelblatt, LaZare win line in Morris for Assembly

Gunderman dealt loss at first contested convention

By David Wildstein, March 28 2019 9:07 pm

Lisa Mandelblatt and Jill LaZare won the Morris County Democratic organization line tonight, dealing a noteworthy defeat to Stacey Gunderman’s fledgling campaign for State Assembly in the 21st district.

At tonight’s Morris County Democratic convention, Mandelblatt finished first with 11 votes, followed by LaZare with 9.  Gunderman got 5 votes in her third place finish.

Mandelblatt and Gunderman won the organization line in Union County, but Somerset County Democrats last week decided not to endorse anyone and hold an open primary.

Now Mandelblatt is running with Gunderman in Union but with LaZare in Morris  — if she chooses to stay on the line.

A fourth candidate, progressive activist Kyla Roger, did not seek any party endorsements.

In 2017, 75% of the Democratic primary votes in the 21st were cast in Union County.  Somerset had 20% and Morris made up 5%.  Morris has signaled that they will back the Union County choice, but Gunderman could not get the votes to win a contested convention.

Democrats are competing for the chance to take on incumbents Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) and Nancy Munoz (R-Summit) in a district that is becoming increasingly favorable to the Democrats.

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