Latinas United for Political Empowerment PAC endorsed three candidates in races across the state Friday.
The group is backing Celeste Fernandez for an at-large Atlantic County Freeholder seat, Cary Amaro for a Morris County Freeholder seat and Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz for another term.
“In the upcoming, critically important election, I am proud to support Latinas who are stepping up to represent our families and our values here in New Jersey,” LUPE PAC President Laura Matos said. “It is an honor to endorse these women not only during Hispanic Heritage Month, but during this important time for women and minorities across our country. With COVID-19 disproportionately impacting black and brown communities and civil rights of those individuals threatened daily, these women will help to ensure our community’s voices are heard in the fight for justice.”
Republicans and Democrats in Atlantic County each have one at-large seat up for election this year. Fernandez will seek to oust incumbent Republican Freeholder John Risley. She sought an at-large seat on the freeholder board in 2018.
This is also Amaro’s second bid for countywide office. In 2019, she ran for one of three seats up for a vote on Morris County’s freeholder board, placing fourth with 48,741 votes behind Republican incumbents Douglas Cabana, Kathy DeFillippo and Tom Mastrangelo.
Mastrangelo, the third-place finisher, received 58,981 votes.
Democrats haven’t won countywide in Morris since backlash over the Watergate scandal propelled Democratic victories nationwide.
Race rater David Wasserman of the Cook Political report on Thursday included Morris among a list of historically Republican counties he believed former Vice President Joe Biden could win in his bid to oust president Donald Trump.
Diaz faces five challengers in her quest for a fourth full term as Perth Amboy Mayor.
Councilmen Helmin Caba, Joel Pabon Sr. and Fernando Irizarry, attorney Joe Vas and Trump supporter Justin Maldonado are seeking her seat, and the race will almost certainly go to a runoff.
Absent changes, that runoff would be held between the top two vote-getters on Dec. 8. With New Jersey running an all-mail general election, those candidates could have just two weeks to campaign for the second round of voting.