Home>Campaigns>Palmer won’t run for Mercer county executive, will back Benson

Assemblyman Dan Benson. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Palmer won’t run for Mercer county executive, will back Benson

Hamilton assemblyman will launch primary challenge against five-term incumbent Brian Hughes soon

By David Wildstein, December 08 2022 12:12 pm

Former Trenton Mayor Douglas Palmer has decided not to run for Mercer County Executive and instead will endorse Assemblyman Dan Benson (D-Hamilton) for the Democratic nomination.

Benson is expected to announce his primary challenge to five-term incumbent Brian Hughes next week.  This sets up a fight for the organization line at the Mercer County Democratic convention early next year — and possibly in the June primary.

Palmer, who spent 20 years as mayor of the state’s capital city, said last month that he was considering a run against Hughes.  He will announce his support for Benson on Monday.

“I strongly believe Dan Benson can bring us the type of new leadership, economic revitalization, equity and inclusion this county needs,” Palmer told the New Jersey Globe.

Hughes launched his bid for a sixth term in November.

Benson’s entrance into the county executive race will open up a State Assembly seat in the 14th district for the first time in more than a decade.

The 66-year-old son of former Gov. Richard Hughes was first elected county executive in 2003 after serving as a freeholder.  While he won his first race by a narrow 49%-47% margin against Republican DiCostanzo, he has been reelected four times by wide margins

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