The contest for the Union County Democratic organization line for Congress in the 7th district remains tight as thirteen municipal chairs get ready to cast their votes for a candidate to take on Rep. Leonard Lance.
Springfield Democratic Municipal Chairman David Barnett had originally been with Linda Weber, sources say, but had then indicated a willingness to support Tom Malinowski. Now Springfield is reportedly back in the Weber column.
Barnett will not attend today’s meeting and has designated a young political operative, Harris Laufer, to cast Springfield’s votes. Laufer works for Assemblyman John McKeon (D-West Orange), and the Essex County Democratic Committee has already endorsed Weber.
That potentially puts six votes in each camp: Clark, Mountainside, Springfield, Summit, Union in Winfield for Weber, and Berkeley Heights, Cranford, Kenilworth, New Providence, Scotch Plains and Westfield for Malinowski.
The deciding vote appears to be Garwood Democratic Municipal Chairman Hugh Sinclair, who has hinted his support to both sides over the last few days.
In a bid to secure Sinclair’s support, the Weber campaign collected 115 signatures from Garwood Democrats on nominating petitions over the last 48 hours. That represents half of the total voter turnout in Garwood in the last Democratic primary.
Malinowski announced the endorsement of Charles Lombardo, the Mayor of Garwood.