The two Democrats representing Morris County in the U.S. House of Representatives are taking sides in the race to replace Chip Robinson as the Democratic county chair.
Reps. Mikie Sherill (D-Montclair) and Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) have endorsed Amalia Duarte in a special election tentative set for the week of May 9.
“Amalia knows the importance of focusing on local issues, is accessible to residents, and works to bring people together. She is already training the next generation of leaders and growing our bench in Morris County as the Chair of the MCDC Electeds Caucus,” Sherill and Malinowski said in a statement released on Monday. “Her commitment to supporting a diverse slate of candidates for office at all levels, increasing fundraising, and her strategic vision make her the right candidate for this position.”
The endorsement of Duarte, who is seeking to become the first woman and first Latina to head the Morris Democratic organization, could pre-empt another candidacy.
Duarte entered the race on Monday. Parsippany Democratic Municipal Chair Matthew Clarkin has also filed a letter of intent to preserve the option of running but has not yet a final decision about entering the race.
Robinson announced his resignation on Friday after top Democrats at the federal, state and local levels pushed for a change in leadership. Vice chair Robin Gurin has also resigned and the party’s political director, Eliot Schneier, is no longer employed by the Morris County Democrats.
“Amalia knows how to win tough races,” said Sherrill and Malinowski, who are seeking re-election this year. “We look forward to continuing our work with MCDC to turn Morris County blue.”