Warren County Freeholder Richard Gardner will not seek re-election to a seventh term and Republicans are backing former Lopatcong Council President Lori Ciesla to replace him.
Ciesla is a close ally of Doug Steinhardt, the Warren County GOP Chairman and the Republican State Chairman, and a former Lopatcong mayor. She is heading a super PAC connected to Steinhardt, a possible candidate for the 2021 Republican gubernatorial nomination.
She has strong support from Republican legislators, county elected officials and mayors.
Ciesla served as a commissioner of the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission.
In 2014, Ciesla mounted an independent bid for mayor after Tom McKay beat the organization choice in a GOP primary to succeed Steinhardt, who didn’t seek re-election. McKay was later censured by the council after an alleged harassment issue.
Warren County elected James Kern to the Board of Freeholders in 2018 following the retirement of Edward Smith.
The Republican organization is backing Warren County Surrogate Kevin O’Neill for re-election.