Pohatcong Mayor James Kern III has established himself as the front runner for the Republican nomination for Warren County Freeholder, picking up endorsements from Warren GOP Chairman/GOP State Chairman Douglas Steinhardt, Freeholder Jason Sarnoski, Sheriff James McDonald, Assemblyman John DiMaio (R-Hackettstown), and six Republican mayors: Keith DeTombeur of Allamuchy; Maria DiGiovanni of Hackettstown; Brian Tipton of Harmony; Robert Barsony of Greenwich; Liberty Mayor John Inscho; Lopatcong Mayor James Mengucci
The incumbent, Ed Smith, announced this month that he would not seek re-election.
“I am so humbled to receive the support of these men and women who have and continue to represent Warren County as real conservatives” said Kern.
The 29-year-old Kern was elected to the Pohatcong Township Council in 2010, defeating two incumbents while still finishing his senior year at Rutgers. He was elected Mayor in 2011, and was re-elected in 2011 with 88% of the vote. He also serves as the treasurer of the Warren County Republican Committee.
Warren County GOP Vice Chair Nancy Brown, Washington Borough Republican Municipal Chair Dawn Higgins and Republican State Committeewoman Mary Van Lieu, a former Pohatcong mayor, are backing Kern for freeholder.
Also backing Kern are: former Hackettstown Mayor and NJ Republican State Chairman Michael Lavery; Belvidere Councilwoman Laurel Napolitani; Hardwick Committeeman James Perry; Hope Deputy Mayor John Kruk; Hope Committeemen Terry Urfer and William Spencer; Lopatcong Councilmen Bill Wright Lopatcong and Louis Belcaro; Phillipsburg Council President Robert Fulper; Phillipsburg Councilwoman Danielle DeGerolamo; Phillipsburg Councilman Frank McVey; Pohatcong Councilman Bill Oertel; Pohatcong Council President David Slack; former Lopatcong Council President Lori Ciesla; former Phillipsburg Council President Todd Tersigni; former Phillipsburg Councilman John Lynn Jr.; former Greenwich Mayor Dan Perez; former Phillipsburg Mayor Harry Wyant Jr.; and former Phillipsburg Mayor Gloria Decker.
“I am excited that James Kern has decided to run for freeholder. James has been extremely active in Warren County, volunteering on multiple boards and committees and really getting to know how the county works,” Sarnoski said. “I have no doubt James will help us continue the great work we have been doing keeping taxes low and providing quality services to the residents of Warren County and I fully support his candidacy.”
Kern has won the support of Hardwick Township Committeeman Jim Perry, a fixture among local government officials as a former New Jersey Conference of Mayors president and vice president of the New Jersey League of Municipalities.
“I have worked with James over the past six years with his involvement in the above mentioned organizations as well as just interacting with him on a mayor-to-mayor level. James is a true leader not only in our community, but also statewide,” Perry said. “He has always been one I could count on for advice, knowledge or to help me battle the many different issues that we have faced here in Warren County and across the state.”