Former Gov. Richard Codey has endorsed Armando Fontoura for an 11th term as the Essex County Sheriff.
“Sheriff Fontoura is totally dedicated to serving the people of Essex County. I have been at social events with the sheriff when he has gotten a call and has to run off immediately to attend to an emergency,” said Codey, a state senator from the 27th district. “The safety and security of our county is his first priority. I’ll also tell you, if you ever play golf with him, never take your eyes off him, and make sure you are standing behind him when he hits.”
Fontoura faces challenges from two Democrats in the June 8 primary election: John Arnold, a former Newark deputy police director, and Barry Jackson.
Arnold, who also served as captain of detectives for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, is also the pastor of the Temple of Refuge Church in Newark.
Fontoura has faced Arnold once before. In 2012, he beat him by 25,835 votes, 62%-19%, in a four-candidate primary.
The 10-term sheriff also fended off a primary challenge in 2009, defeating two challengers with 80% of the vote.
Nicholas Pansini and Maureen Edelson are facing off in the GOP primary.
Pansini has the backing of the Essex County Republican organization. Edelson, a former Montclair council candidate, is running on a slate headed by gubernatorial candidate Hirsh Singh.
Republicans have not won an Essex County sheriff race in 42 years.