South Jersey Democrats have tapped a proven vote-getter, nine-term Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, as the organization candidate for an open State Senate seat in a swing South Jersey district, while his running mate, Gabriela Mosquera, will not seek re-election to a seventh term to her fourth district seat, the New Jersey Globe has confirmed.
Democrats are planning to run Monroe school board member Cody Miller, the director of the Rowan College Foundation, and Gloucester Township Councilman Dan Hutchison for the two open State Assembly seats in the 4th district.
Moriarty, 66, wants to succeed Fred Madden (D-Washington Township), who announced this month that he would not seek re-election after 20 years in the State Senate.
He has begun making calls to local officials in Gloucester and Camden counties seeking support in advance of the March 27 filing deadline.
If the 4th district Democratic slate is successful in the primary, it would mean a net loss of one woman and one Hispanic from the local Democratic legislative delegation.
The departure of Moriarty and Mosquera from the Assembly brings the total number of legislative retirements to 25, although several of them are seeking another office.
Gloucester County Commissioner Nick DeSilvio and former Washington Township Councilman Chris DelBorrello will face off in a Republican primary for Madden’s Senate seat. DeSilvio has lines in Camden and Gloucester, while DelBorrello has the line in Atlantic, where about 7% of the Republicans live.
The 4th district became decidedly more Republican in legislative redistricting, removing Democratic strongholds like Lindenwold and adding one of the few Republican towns in Camden County, Waterford.
Under the old map, Gov. Phil Murphy carried the 4th district two years ago by two percentage points, but the towns in the new map gave GOP gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli a five-point win. In the 2020 presidential election, Joe Biden won the new 4th district by seven points.
Under these new lines, Democratic Senate candidates in 2021 combined for 50.6% of the vote to 49.4% for Republicans – a margin of just about a thousand votes. That came despite the state GOP offering no help to Pakradooni.
Following nearly two decades as a high-profile consumer investigative reporter for a CBS network affiliate in Philadelphia, KYW-TV channel 3, Moriarty entered politics in 2004 as a successful candidate for mayor of Washington Township, the largest swing town in Gloucester County. He was elected to the State Assembly in 2005 after Democrat Robert Smith (D-Washington) decided not to seek a fourth term.
Moriarty had faced some tough races, including 2009 when Republican Domenick DeCicco (R-Franklin) flipped an open seat; he ran 2,653 votes in front of DeCicco’s running mate, former Gloucester Township Councilman and NAACP board member Eugene Lawrence.
He has chaired the Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee for nearly fourteen years.
Moriarty faced a recall election as mayor, but organizers could not gather enough petition signatures to force the issue on the ballot. He also faced a high-profile drunk driving arrest in 2012; the charges were dropped, the arresting police officer faced criminal misconduct charges – he was acquitted – and the two spent years engulfed in federal and state lawsuits.
For the Assembly, DeSilvio has teamed up with Michael Clark, a 24-year-old businessman and athletic director of the Solid Rock Christian School in Berlin, and Denise Gonzalez, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and also a member of IBEW Local 351; she ran against Moriarty and Mosquera in 2021 and lost by roughly 4,000 votes.
DelBorrello is running with former Buena Council President Matthew Walker and newcomer Lisa Rayca of Sewell.
Miller, 33, was a Monroe councilman from 2015 to 2020 and was elected to the school board in 2022. He served on the Rowan Board of Trustees until taking a full-time job heading their foundation.
The 55-year-old Hutchison started as a Republican, winning 25% of the vote in a bid to unseat Rep. Rob Andrews (D-Haddon Height) in 2004. He was elected to the Gloucester Township Council in a 2006 non-partisan municipal election; after the township changed to partisan elections, Hutchison switched parties and has been re-elected four times as a Democrat.
DeSilvio, 59, is a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 351. He spent nine years as a Naval Nuclear Operator and served spent six years as a member of the Franklin Township school board. He became involved in local government as an advocate for his daughter, a special needs child.
He ran unsuccessfully for county commissioner in 2020, losing by 1,944 votes – about one-half of one percent. DeDilvio was the top vote-getter in his 2021 bid for county commissioner, defeating longtime incumbent Robert Damminger by 3,296 votes.
DelBorrello, now a Gloucester Township resident, was a councilman in Washington Township from 2010 to 2014. He did not seek re-election-election.