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Dover Mayor James Dodd

Dover mayor James Dodd unsure about re-election bid

Democrat says he won’t get line, could run as independent

By David Wildstein, March 13 2019 3:49 pm

Dover mayor James P. Dodd says he has not decided whether he will seek re-election.

“I haven’t made up my mind yet,” Dodd told the New Jersey Globe.  I have a lot of people who have asked me to continue.”

Dodd has until April 1 to file for renomination in the Democratic primary, but acknowledged that he could decide to seek re-election as an independent in the fall.

“We all know I won’t have the line,” Dodd said.

An insurgent group led by Democrats seeking greater representation in a town that is 69.4% Hispanic defeated three Dodd allies in the Democratic primary.  Backed by Morris County Democratic chairman Chip Robinson, the Dover First group wrestled 19 of 24 county committee seats away from Dodd allies.

Dover (pop. 18,157) is 48% Hispanic — with a large Colombian community — and 6% Black, but the county committee in Dover has a white majority.

In 2015, Dodd faced a primary challenge from former police chief Butch Valentine and won by 71 votes, 53%-47%.

Dover First is expected to filed a candidate for mayor this year, although they have not announced their pick yet.

Dodd and four Democratic alderman angered leaders of their party by public endorsing Republican Gov. Chris Christie in 2013.  Democrats allege that Dodd backed State Sen. Anthony R. Bucco (R-Boonton) and Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco (R-Boonton) in their narrow 2017 re-election bids.

Dodd ousted Republican 4th ward alderman R. Keith Titus in 1997 by 67 votes, 43%-32%, in a three-way race.  He was elected mayor in 2003 with 62% of the vote after Republican Javier Mar stepped down.

“I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished,” Dodd said.

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