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How Malinowski won Union

Hugh Sinclair of Garwood was deciding vote

By David Wildstein

Tom Malinowski’s victory in the Democratic organization line in Union County was by a single vote: Hugh Sinclair, the municipal chairman in a town where less than 300 Democrats turned out to vote in the last congressional primary election.

Sinclair, who runs an online clothing business, had been the lone uncommitted voter in a field of thirteen municipal chairs who would decide if Malinowski or Union County resident Linda Weber would run with the support of the organization.  Sources from both camps had reported that Sinclair had committed their vote to him.

Malinowski won 7-6.

Late last week, sources said that Springfield Democratic Municipal Chairman David Barnett had flipped his support from Weber to Malinowski.  But by this morning, Barnett was firmly back to Weber.  He was not in attendance at the screening committee vote today but sent his proxy to cast Springfield’s vote for Weber.

The confusion behind Barnett’s wavering reportedly made Sinclair nervous, causing operatives from both campaigns to question the accuracy of Sinclair’s own word.

Malinowski wound up with votes out of Berkeley Heights, Cranford, Kenilworth, New Providence, Scotch Plains, Westfield, and Garwood.  Weber’s votes came from Clark, Mountainside, Springfield, Summit, Union and Winfield.

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