Home>Campaigns>Cumberland GOP picks county slate for bid to flip three commissioner seats, sheriff, surrogate

State Sen. Michael Testa. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Cumberland GOP picks county slate for bid to flip three commissioner seats, sheriff, surrogate

James Sauro, a former freeholder, seeking return to countywide office

By David Wildstein, March 04 2023 12:49 pm

Republicans took 4-3 control of the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners after flipping two seats in 2022, and now they are gearing up to pick up three more seats this year.

At a contested convention today, Republicans picked former Freeholder James Sauro, banker Sandra Taylor, and Hopewell school board member Arthur Marchand, Jr. as their candidates for county commissioner.

Only one incumbent commissioner, John Capizola Jr., is seeking re-election.  Carol Musso and Donna Pearson are not running again.

Robert Austino, the five-term Democratic sheriff, will face the winner of the GOP convention, retired Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office lieutenant Michael Donato.   This will be a rematch of the 2020 race, when Austino defeated Donato by a 53.6% to 46.4% margin.

Republicans are running Rudolph “Skip” Luisi, a mortician who owns the DeMarco-Luisi Funeral Home in Vineland, for Surrogate.  He is a former Vineland Jaycees president and founder of the Italian American Benevolent Association and the North Italy Beneficial Association.  The three term incumbent, Douglas Rainier, is not seeking re-election.

Rainer served as an Upper Deerfield township committeeman and mayor, and was elected to the freeholder board three times before winning the surrogate’s race in 2008.

Sauro won a freeholder seat in 2014 but gave it up after three years to make an unsuccessful bid for the State Assembly in 2017.  Taylor lost a race for freeholder in 2011, trailing Musso by 1,646 votes.  Marchand’s father was a popular freeholder and surrogate who lost re-election in 2008 when Barack Obama was carrying Cumberland with 60% of the vote.

Musso, a former Deerfield mayor, is seeking her fifth term.   Pearson, a former freeholder, was elected in 2020 after scoring an off-the-line win in the Democratic primary.

George Castellini, the son of a former Cumberland County sheriff, was elected in 2017 and 2020; he resigned two-thirds of the way through his second term, and Capizola won a special election convention to replace him.

Spread the news: