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Somerset County Republican Chairman Al Gaburo

Al Gaburo says too early to endorse in 16th district Assembly race

Somerset GOP chairman not ready to back candidates against Zwicker and Freiman

By Nikita Biryukov, February 13 2019 4:06 pm

Somerset County Republicans are waiting for the field to fill out before deciding who the organization will back in the 16th legislative district, County Chairman Al Gaburo told the New Jersey Globe.

“I don’t think, at this point, the field has rounded out yet,” Gaburo said. “I think there may be some folks that are still contemplating whether or not they’d like to jump into this race.”

So far only Ed Zimmerman, the former Mayor of Rocky Hill — a town with a population of 682, among whom numbers Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Rocky Hill) — has announced his intention to challenge Assemblymen Andrew Zwicker (D-South Brunswick) and Roy Freiman (D-Hillsborough).

Gaburo said Zimmerman told him about his intention to run at an event near the start of the year, though he said the two have not had further conversations since. The chairman was reluctant to say how he felt about Zimmerman’s candidacy, saying he preferred to wait until the field filled out.

“My preference is not to discuss any candidates or potential candidates until I know what the whole field looks like, because those are conversations that we’ll have amongst not only the four chairs in those counties but also with the municipal chairs in Somerset towns in the 16th,” Gaburo said.

Conversations with Municipal chairs also have yet to occur, he said.

In any case, other candidates have plenty of time to make up their minds. Somerset County won’t hold its candidate screening until March 25.

Portions of the district also fall within Mercer, Middlesex and Hunterdon Counties, though only the latter county holds a significant portion of the 16th.

That means that Hunterdon County Chairman Pat Torpey will also play a significant role in deciding who takes on Freiman and Zwicker in November.

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