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Jefferson Democratic Municipal Chair Christine Clarke. (Photo: Christine Clarke).

Oliver will help raise money for Pennacchio opponent

Lt. Governor will boost Christine Clarke in heavily-Republican 26th district

By Ashley Gallagher, July 19 2021 10:13 am

Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver will boost a Democratic State Senate candidate in a predominately Republican district on Tuesday, appearing at a virtual fundraiser for Christine Clarke in the 26th district.

Clarke is challenging four-term incumbent Joseph Pennacchio (R-Montville), the minority whip of the New Jersey Senate, in the 26th district.

The Morris County-based district, which includes parts of Essex and Passaic, has 12,112 more Republicans  than Democrats, according to the New Jersey Division of Elections.

Pennacchio was re-elected in 2017 by a 13-point margin against Democrat Elliot Isibor.   He is a potential candidate for Senate Minority Leader if he wins re-election on November 2.

An environmental activist and the Jefferson Democratic Municipal chair, Clarke is making her second bid for the legislature.  She ran for the State Assembly in 2019, but finished 5,631 votes behind the incumbent, Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains).

Clarke is running on a platform of building the state’s “clean energy economy, improve healthcare, protect clean air and water, and lead with empathy and fiscal sense,” her website says.

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