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Dover Mayor James P. Dodd will seek re-election as an independent in the November general election.
Dodd told the New Jersey Globe that he will file his nominating petitions before the 4 PM deadline tomorrow, along with a full slate of candidates for Alderman.
“This will give everyone who agrees with my vision an opportunity to come out and vote for me,” said Dodd, who expects to attract support from Republicans and unaffiliated voters.
He will face Alderwoman Carolyn Blackman, who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary.
An insurgent group led by Democrats seeking greater representation in a town that is 69.4% Hispanic defeated three Dodd allies in the 2018 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 had a white majority.
In 2015, Dodd faced a primary challenge from former police chief Butch Valentine and won by 71 votes, 53%-47%.
Dodd and four Democratic alderman angered leaders of their party by public endorsing Republican Gov. Chris Christie in 2013 – a move that came after then-Morris County Democratic Chairman Lewis Candura reportedly signed off on the Dodd endorsement.
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.
In that race, Democrat Lisa Bhimani carried Dover by a 68%-32% margin over Bucco in the Senate race. Bhimani is now running for Assembly against Bucco’s son.
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.