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Former Cranford Mayor Patrick Giblin. (Photo: Patrick Giblin.)

Patrick Giblin drops Assembly bid in 21st district

Salmon is front runner in contest for Democratic nod

By David Wildstein, March 02 2021 1:12 pm

Former Cranford Mayor Patrick Giblin has dropped his bid for the Democratic nomination for State Assembly in the 21st district.

He told the New Jersey Globe that he submitted his withdrawal to Nicholas Scutari, the Union County Democratic Chairman.

Giblin had appeared before numerous screening committees but had not secured enough votes to win organization lines in Union and Somerset counties.

In a field that began with seven candidates, there are now four Democrats seeking party support for two seats.

Attorney Scott Salmon, who has served as counsel to Rep. Tom Malinowski’s two congressional campaigns, has emerged as the leading candidate for open of the seats.  He received the recommendation of the Somerset Democratic screening committee and appears to have the most votes heading into Saturday’s Union County Democratic screening committee that will award the organization line.

Also seeking the nomination: Bernards Democratic Municipal Chair Elizabeth Graner; National Organization of Women (NOW) New Jersey president Anjali Mehrotra, the Mountainside Democratic municipal chair; and Union County Finance Director Bibi Taylor.

Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz (R-Summit) is seeking re-election in a Republican district that has become politically competitive in recent years, but not enough to flip the legislative delegation.

Republicans have not yet picked their candidate for an open seat, where Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) is giving up his lower house seat to run for the State Senate.

The longtime senator, Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield), is not seeking re-election.

Giblin is the son of Assemblyman Thomas P. Giblin (D-Montclair), a former Democratic state chairman and longtime business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 68.

Giblin’s grandfather, John J. Giblin (D-Newark), served in the New Jersey State Senate and on the Essex County Board of Freeholders.  His brother, Ted, is a councilman in Verona, and his sister, Noreen, is a top aide to Gov. Phil Murphy.

Tom Giblin mounted his first campaign as a State Assembly candidate in 1973, at age 26, when he challenged Kean’s father in the old 25th legislative district.  While future Gov. Thomas Kean won by a wide margin, Giblin lost that race by a narrow 1,070 votes against first-time candidate Jane Burgio.

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