Union County Democratic Chairman Jerry Green resigned today and State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden) has entered the race to succeed him.
Green, 78, has faced a series of health issues and says he is giving up the party post to work on recovering from is illness.
The vacancy sets up an earlier-then-expected faceoff between Scutari and factions aligned with State Sen. Joe Cryan (D-Union). The new acting County Chair is Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr, a Cryan ally. Green has endorsed Scutari. The battle comes amid a competitive Democratic primary for Congress in the seventh district, where Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton) is viewed as vulnerable.
“In consultation with my medical providers, family, friends, and colleagues, I have concluded that the arduous recovery process prevents me from effectively serving as the Chairman,” Green said. He has asked Union County Democrats to take no other action before they meet to elect a replacement.
Green expressed confidence in Scutari as his successor.
“His credentials and abilities speak for themselves,” Green said. “Just as my predecessor Charlotte DeFilippo encouraged me to run as chairman, I am proud to support Nick to follow me.”
“I will work tirelessly to ensure qualified candidates are elected up and down the ballot in November so that our values are represented not just in Washington DC, but in Trenton and in our own backyard in Union County,” Scutari said in a statement.