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Former Morris County Freeholder John Inglesino mulling a run for Republican county chairman next year.
“I’m giving it consideration,” Inglesino told the New Jersey Globe. “I’m in the process of speaking to party leaders. I’ve been encouraged to run by people.”
The incumbent, Ronald DeFilippis, stepped down temporarily earlier this month for health and personal reasons. He is not expected to seek re-election to a second term in 2020.
DeFilippis won in 2018 by just four votes over Rob Zwigard.
Zwigard had been expected to seek a rematch against DeFilippis and is also considered a potential candidate next year.
Laura Marie Ali, who was elected vice chair on DeFilippis’ ticket and became acting chair when DeFilippis went on leave, is also expected to run for county chair.
Inglesino has been a major player in Morris County politics since 1991, when he was the executive director of the Morris GOP.
He won a Rockaway Township Council seat in 1993 against Douglas Romaine – the last Democrat to win a countywide election when he was elected freeholder in 1973 – with 69% of the vote.
Two years later, he ousted Democratic mayor Frank Maddaloni by a 53%-47% margin.
In 1997, Inglesino came within 223 votes of winning the Republican nomination for State Assembly in the 25th district when Anthony R. Bucco gave up seat to run for the Senate. He was defeated by Rick Merkt.
He won a seat on the Board of Freeholders in a March 2001 special election convention after Joseph Pennacchio resigned to become an assemblyman. He won a crowded field by a wide margin, 272 to 120 against the second-place finisher, Richard Uranker.
Inglesino won three-year terms in 2001 and 2004, but was the surprise loser in 2007 when James Murray, who won the draw for a prime ballot spot, defeated him by 1,584 votes.
Since then, Inglesino has built a large Morris County law firm. He served as the Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Attorney for eight years, as a planning board attorney in Morristown and Fairfield, as a special redevelopment counsel in Bayonne, Morristown, Nutley and Belleville, and as counsel to the Morris County Insurance Fund.