Gloucester County Democrats have selected Matthew Weng, a Pitman councilman and former New Jersey League of Municipalities staff attorney, as their candidate for an open Gloucester County commissioner seat.
He will replace Lyman Barnes, a four-term incumbent who announced last month that he would not seek re-election, on the Democratic organization line. Weng will run with incumbents Heather Simmons and Jim Jefferson.
Countrywide elections in Gloucester County have become increasingly competitive in recent years. Republicans broke the 7-0 Democratic majority on the county commission in 2021 when they flipped two seats and the sheriff’s office. But Democrats stopped a GOP bid to take control last year, re-electing two incumbents and a longtime county clerk.
The county Republican organization has tapped three candidates for their bid to wrestle control of county government from the Democrats: Frank Fisher, a Washington Township volunteer firefighter and nurse anesthetist who spent 32 years in the U.S. Army Reserves and Air National Guard, including combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan; parental rights advocate Brooke Rivello; and Erik Anderson, a businessman, U.S. Army veteran, and emergency room technician.
Weng served as a legislative aide to Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D-Washington Township) and is an associate at the Bridgeton law firm of Chance & McCann. He is also the Pitman Democratic municipal chairman.
He won an open Democratic council seat in 2017 by 321 votes and was re-elected in 2020 by a 75-vote margin over Republican Christopher Wilson.
Pitman is a politically competitive municipality with a Republican mayor, Michael Razze, Jr., and a split 3-3 borough council. Weng’s seat is up this year, along with Democratic councilman Adam Mazzola and Razze.