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Assembly Candidate Aura Dunn
Assembly Candidate Aura Dunn. Photo by Nikita Biryukov for the New Jersey Globe.

Three freeholders endorse Dunn for Assembly

Five of seven GOP freeholders have taken sides in special election convention to replace Bucco

By David Wildstein, November 19 2019 9:15 pm

Three Morris County freeholders have endorsed Aura Dunn for State Assembly in Thursday’s special election convention to fill Anthony M. Bucco’s 25th district seat.

Kathy DeFilippo, Douglas Cabana and Stephen Shaw announced tonight that they will back Dunn for the seat Bucco vacated last month to take his late father’s seat in the New Jersey State Senate.

Wharton Mayor Bill Chegwidden, a former freeholder who challenged State Sen. Anthony R. Bucco in the 2011 Republican primary, also announced his support of Dunn today, along with her ex-boss, former Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen.

The freeholders cited Dunn’s service as District Director under Frelinghuysen, and as a U.S. Senate staffer.

“Aura has the credentials and the drive that will ensure an election victory when the Democrats throw everything they have at us again in an attempt to take legislative seats in our region,” said Shaw, a former Mountain Lakes mayor.

Cabana, Morris County’s longest-serving freeholder, said he’s supporting Dunn because “she is knowledgeable about the important issues our state is facing today.”

“We must all get behind her selection if we want to keep our Republican slate and our party unbeatable,” said Cabana.

DeFilippo praised Dunn’s platform of controlling taxes and spending, fairness in the state’s school funding formula, making our schools safer and ending the opioid epidemic, saying she has “strong principles that will help carry the GOP ticket to victory in the fall.”

Dunn is one of six Republicans running in Thursday’s election to fill the remaining seven weeks of Bucco’s term.

She faces Mendham Township Deputy Mayor Sarah Neibart, Assistant Morris County Counsel John Barbarula, Morristown Councilwoman Alison Deeb, Pfizer executive Al Ribeiro, and attorney Robert Olejar.

Neibart has the backing of Freeholders John Krickus and Deborah Smith.

“I’m humbled and emboldened by the long list of seasoned Republican officials backing my campaign to take the vacant 25th District seat,” Dunn said.  “I have the background, credentials and stamina to carry on the fight for our Republican values at a time when Trenton is consumed by tax-and-spend liberals whose far-left polices are driving families out of our state.”

The winner of the Thursday special election convention will serve until the expiration of Bucco’s current term on January 13.

Bucco was re-elected to the Assembly on November 5, but will not be sworn in.  A new special election must be called after the Legislature reorganizes on January 14.

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