Physician Jonathan Torres and journalist Diane Salvatore launched their campaigns for the State Assembly in the 25th legislative district today, joining Democratic Senate candidate Christine Clarke in the uphill battle to defeat three incumbent Morris County Republicans.
The three candidates already have the endorsements of most local Democrats, including Morris Democratic Chair Amalia Duarte, and are not expected to face any opposition for the Democratic nomination.
Last year, Torres ran for a seat on the Randolph Township Council, losing by a narrow 51%-49% margin to appointed incumbent Joe Hathaway. He currently works in the Department of Family Medicine at Morristown Medical Center.
“I’m grateful to be a member of this team, working together to serve New Jersey,” Torres said in a statement. “I have come to realize that to truly heal, we have to work together to improve access to healthcare, protect the environment and education, make New Jersey more affordable, and defend individual liberty.”
Salvatore, meanwhile, appears to be a first-time candidate for office; she’s the former editor-in-chief of Consumer Reports and Ladies’ Home Journal.
“In my journalism career, I have seen up close the power of citizens advocating for changes to improve ordinary people’s lives, and it’s an honor to participate in that process now as a Democratic candidate,” she said.
Clarke, the municipal chair of the Jefferson Township Democrats, had run for the legislature twice before: for a 26th district Assembly seat in 2019, and for the district’s Senate seat in 2021. She lost by significant margins both times, though the 26th district is more Republican than the 25th district she’s now running in.
Assuming the Clarke-Torres-Salvatore team makes it to the general election, they’ll face State Sen. Anthony M. Bucco (R-Boonton), Assemblyman Christian Barranco (R-Jefferson), and Assemblywoman Aura Dunn (R-Mendham). The redrawn 25th district voted for Joe Biden by six points, so it is open to backing Democrats in certain circumstances, but it supported Jack Ciattarelli 54%-45% in 2021 and is widely expected to go Republican this year.
This story was updated at 3:24 p.m. on March 2 with a correction: Assemblyman Christian Barranco is running in the 25th district, not Assemblyman Brian Bergen.