Middlesex County Democrats tonight picked Claribel Azcona-Barber to replace retiring freeholder Blanquita Valenti.
Azcona-Barber, a close ally of New Brunswick mayor James Cahill, defeated former Perth Amboy councilman Joel Pabon. She will join incumbents Charles Kenny and Kenneth Armwood on the Democratic organization line, along with Sheriff Mildred Scott.
Valenti is retiring after six terms on the freeholder board. The 84-year-old retired teacher was first elected freeholder in 2004 after serving as a New Brunswick city councilwoman and council president.
Barber has spent nineteen years as a Democratic county committeewoman from New Brunswick. She has served as a legislative aide to Assemblyman Joseph Egan (D-New Brunswick), as an executive assistant to the New Jersey Secretary of State, and on the staffs of Governors James E. McGreevey and Jon Corzine.
“Middlesex County is incredibly fortunate to have such a diverse and talented group of individuals to represent Middlesex County both on the June primary ballot and in November,” said Middlsex county Democratic chairman Kevin McCabe. “These candidates embody the very best of what Middlesex County has to offer, as they work to protect middle-class families in our county and across the state. I am proud of the strong candidates our organization has endorsed, and look forward to a strong showing this June and November.”
McCabe praised Valenti’s career as a freeholder and councilwoman.