Garwood was the center of the Union County political universe a week ago when Democratic Municipal Chairman Hugh Sinclair cast the deciding vote to give Tom Malinowski the organization line for Congress. Now Sinclair faces political problems at home.
Third-term Councilwoman Sara Todisco will challenge three-term Mayor Charles Lombardo in the Democratic primary. Lombard, who works for Union County, has the backing of Sinclair and will run on the Union County organization line.
The primary has nothing to do with the 7th district congressional race. It’s reportedly about a desire to replace Lombardo, who has held local office since 1986, with some new leadership.
In 2017, Phil Murphy carried Garwood with 46% of the vote in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. He defeated John Wisniewski (25%) by a vote of 117-63, followed by Jim Johnson with 43 votes (17%) and Ray Lesniak with 28 votes (11%).
Todisco, running for re-election on the organization line in 2017, was the top vote-getter in Garwood with 196 votes – more than any of the countywide or legislative candidates. She will run with two council candidates in a bid to unseat a pair of Republicans up for re-election this fall.