Morris County Republicans Deborah Smith, John Krickus and Stephen Shaw, who ran as a team in 2018, announced their re-election bids for what will be the first election for County Commissioner, rolling out a long list of endorsements in what might easily box out any real primary challenge.
New Jersey will officially shift from the Board of Freeholders to County Commissioners on January 1.
Leading the endorsement list for the incumbents are Morris GOP Chair Laura Ali, Sheriff James Gannon, County Clerk Ann Grossi, and freeholders Doug Cabana and Tayfun Selen.
Also on the list of Smith, Krickus and Shaw backers are New Jersey GOP State Chairman Doug Steinhardt and Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli.
If Morris County Republicans move to an organization line in the June 2021 primary – there is considerable speculation that they will – the endorsement of the incumbent county officials appears to preclude the possibility of either Steinhart or Ciattarelli creating their own line.
Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, who represents part of Morris County and is also mulling a bid for governor, was not on the endorsement list – but none of the other members of the county legislative delegation were on either.
Noticeably not on the list of endorsers: Freeholders Tom Mastrangelo and Kathy DeFilippo.
Mastrangelo has been mulling a primary challenge against Senate Minority Whip Joseph Pennacchio (R-Montville) and could need freeholder candidates in order to create his own line.
Smith, Krickus and Shaw also have the backing of 21 Republican mayors, former Morris GOP Chairman John Sette, and Robert Zwigard, who ran a close race for Republican County Chairman in 2018.
The incumbents listed their response to the coronavirus pandemic and their investments in infrastructure without raising county property taxes as justification of their re-election.
“We are honored to have earned the endorsement of Republican leaders at the state and county level, and in nearly every single town in Morris County,” said Smith. “This year, in spite of challenges at every turn, voters rewarded Morris County Republicans for our commitment to honest government that focuses on what matters most to our residents. We are proud to have played a key role in creating and strengthening the Morris County Republican brand, and we look forward to keeping Morris the number one county in the state.Smith Krickus Shaw to Seek Re-Election in Morris County 12-4-20 endorsements