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Former Cumberland County Freeholder Donna M. Pearson

Pearson celebrates her lone progressive victory

Former freeholder’s runningmates lost, leaving her to run with incumbents

By Nikita Biryukov, July 27 2020 3:49 pm

Former Cumberland County Freeholder Donna Pearson issued a muted celebration of her primary win. She was the only one of three progressive freeholder challengers to win at the polls this month.

“This is bittersweet. It was a hard-fought battle. Our campaign had to overcome the changes in our voting process brought on by the pandemic and a tough ballot position,” Pearson said. “Despite all of this, we rallied together, ran a positive campaign, and focused on what matters most: The issues that impact the daily lives of Cumberland County residents.”

The Democratic freeholder nominee thanked her two running mates, Tracey Wells-Huggins and Freeholder Jack Surrency, who launched the progressive off-the-line challenge after being dropped by the Cumberland County Democratic Committee.

Pearson leads Millville Commissioner Bruce Cooper, who was picked to replace Surrency on the party line, by 124 votes.

The former freeholder also thanked second-district House Democratic nominee Amy Kennedy, who headed the progressive ticket, and Working Families NJ, South Jersey Progressive Democrats, PBA Local 231, and the Good Government Coalition of New Jersey, all organizations that worked to boost the progressives’ bids.

Pearson’s new running mates received no thanks.

“That means that we recognize that some things need to change. We are willing to work to bring about those changes to improve the lives of Cumberland County residents. We are and will always be Democrats,” Pearson said. “I wish to extend congratulations to Robert Austino, Carol Musso and George Castellini. I’m looking forward to working with everyone on the Democratic ticket.”

Pearson and Freeholders Musso and Castellini will face Republicans Victoria Lods, Darwin Cooper and Antonio Romero in November.

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