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Parsippany Mayor Michael Soriano. (Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe).

Parsippany Democrats pick challengers in control election

GOP defending last three council seats

By David Wildstein, March 24 2019 12:14 pm

Democrats won the crown jewel of Morris County politics in 2017 when Michael Soriano ousted Jamie Barbiero to win the Parsippany mayoral race.

Now control of the township council is at stake in Morris County’s most populated municipality, which has been trending toward the Democrats in recent years.

Republicans still have a 3-2 majority and Democrats need to win one of the three Republican seats up this fall to win a majority.  Democrats picked up two council seats in 2017.

The Parsippany GOP has been fractured for decades, but this year they avoided a primary by running all three incumbents on a unity ticket.  Paul Carifi, Jr., Mike dePierro and Loretta Gragnani will run a joint campaign for re-election.

Parsippany Democrats today announced their slate of challengers: gun safety advocate Cori Menkin Herbig, union leader Rob Kaminski, and planning board member Judy Hernandez.

They have the backing of Soriano, Morris County Democratic chairman Chip Robinson and Parsippany Democratic municipal chairman Matt Clarkin.

“I am proud to support such a strong and dynamic slate of candidates in this year’s Council election,” said Soriano.  “Cori, Rob and Judy bring together a wealth of diverse professional experience and community volunteerism that will make our Council more representative of our township’s residents.”

Herbig works for Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.  Before that she spent thirteen years as an animal welfare advocate for the ASPCA.

Kaminski is on the executive board of IBEW Local 102 and is a delegate to the Northwest Central Labor Council.  He is involved in the township recreational programs and volunteers as an electrician for Habitat for Humanity.

Hernandez has worked as an environmental consultant and has served on the Parsippany Environmental Commission.

“As people who have chosen to make this community our home, we are first and foremost a group of concerned residents looking to maintain our community’s status as a top place to live and raise a family. As we launch our campaign, we are making one simple pledge: We will always have the community’s best interest at heart,” Herbig, Kaminski and Hernandez said in a joint statement.  “As members of the Council, we will welcome different ideas, encourage positive public discourse, and work toward our common goals of fiscal responsibility, integrity, and transparency in governing.”

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