Two Republicans facing a primary challenge from an incumbent assemblyman who lost party support in South Jersey are taking sides in a contested legislative race in Morris County.
Assemblyman Ryan Peters (R-Hainesport) and former Burlington County sheriff Jean Stanfield have endorsed Assemblyman Anthony Bucco (R-Boonton) and Aura Dunn, who was Rodney Frelinghuysen’s district director, in the 25th district GOP Assembly primary.
“After hearing Aura’s story and witnessing her ability to bring people together, I unequivocally decided to support her candidacy,” said Stanfield, a six-term sheriff who stepped in to run after Burlington Republicans dumped Assemblyman Joe Howarth (R-Evesham) from the organization line. “As wives and mothers who have shared long and successful careers in public service, we understand the damage that Governor Murphy’s destructive policies are causing to our families, to our businesses and to those in law enforcement. Our state and our party cannot afford to elect another democrat, and I believe that Aura is the best republican candidate to defeat the democrats in November.”
Peters, a freshman assemblyman and former U.S. Navy Seal, said he saw similarities between Dunn and Stanfield.
“The Assembly Republican caucus needs more qualified leaders with extensive experience in the public and private sector,” Peters said. “Much like Jean, Aura is a fighter and I feel strongly that our party needs to support more women like them in order to bring a fresh perspective and new energy to the caucus.”
This is Peters’ first formal foray into North Jersey politics and comes at a time when some Republican insiders have mentioned him as a possible candidate for the 2021 Republican nomination for governor.
Dunn faces Denville councilman Brian Bergen, a former U.S. Army helicopter pilot and West Point graduate, and special assistant county counsel John Barbarula for the seat of twelve-term incumbent Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris Township). Carroll is seeking the GOP nomination for Morris County Surrogate.