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Brandon Minde

Ex-Christie aide will run in Livingston

Brandon Minde to challenge Mike Vieira in special election

By David Wildstein, April 01 2019 4:00 pm

A former aide to Gov. Chris Christie will make his second bid for the Livingston Township Council in a November 2019 special election.

Brandon Minde, a former assistant counsel to Christie, will challenge incumbent Democrat Michael Vieira for a fourteen-month unexpired term on the all-Democratic governing body in the former governor’s hometown.

Minde ran in 2018 and lost by 2,984 votes.

Vieira was appointed to replace Michael Silverman, a Democrat who resigned in January to move to West Orange.

The November winner will serve through the end of 2020 when two council seats are up.

For Minde, if he wins, that would mean three campaigns in three years.

Debbie Burack, who ran with Minde in 2018, told the New Jersey Globe last month that she would not run in the special election but has not ruled out a council bid next year.

She did rule out endorsing Minde.

“Brandon is a fraud. I’ll do whatever I have to do to get votes against him.  I would never support him,” Burack told the Globe.  She said she would vote for Vieira over Minde.

Livingston has never held a special election before.  The other two vacancies since the township changed its form of government in 1956, occurred in election years.

The winner of the November 2019 special election will have to run again in 2020 if they want to extend their time on the council.

Democrats now have a 5-0 majority on the council and have had control for all but two years since 1975.

The last Republicans to serve on the Livingston Township Council lost their seats in 2014.  Michael Rieber was defeated by 34 votes, while Deborah Shapiro, running for re-election as an independent, lost by 2,446 votes.

In 2018, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez won 59% of the vote in Livingston, while Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) took 67% and Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo won 69%.

Vieira was appointed by the local Democratic organization after a vote by the county committee.

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