Christian Barranco will give up his spot on the organization line in Passaic County in order to team up with seven-term incumbent Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains) in the Republican primary for State Assembly in the 26th district.
The IBEW Local 102 electrician will also bracket with Webber in Essex County, where only Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce (R-Parsippany) is running on the line.
Webber and Barranco will team up with gubernatorial candidate Phil Rizzo in Passaic and Essex in order to avoid being lost on the ballot. They’ll run with Jack Ciattarelli in Morris.
In a major upset, Barranco defeated DeCroce by 9 votes to win the newly-created Morris County GOP organization line at their first-ever convention on March 26.
The move allows Webber and Barranco to run together in all three counties.
DeCroce has the line alone in Essex and Passaic.
Bracketing letters were submitted this afternoon.
In Essex, Rizzo, Webber and Barranco will run together.
Another gubernatorial candidate, Hirsh Singh, has set up an Essex line with sheriff candidate Maureen Edelson and Republican State Committee candidates Michael Byrne and Sue Ann Penna. DeCroce will be on the line with sheriff candidate Nicholas Pansini and incumbent state committee members Peter Tanella and Janet Treamont.
Rizzo, Webber and Barranco will be bracketed together in Passaic, but without candidates against the organization line for surrogate, county commissioner and Republican state committee.
A fourth Assembly candidate, Morris County Commissioner Tom Mastrangelo, entered the race on Monday. He had hoped to team up with DeCroce, but the five-term lawmaker wants to run alone. DeCroce was the first Morris GOP legislator to endorse Ciattarelli for governor and isn’t expected to bracket with any other candidate.
Mastrangelo can either team up with Brian Levine or perennial candidate Hirsh Singh — something that must be done by 4 PM today — or risk finding himself in ballot Siberia in all three counties. DeCroce runs the same risk in Morris.
About 78% of the Republican primary votes in the 26th district live in Morris County. Roughly 12% are in West Milford, the only Passaic County municipality in the district, while 10% are from Essex.