William E. Stubbs (1917-2003) was the first African American to win a major party nomination for Congress in New Jersey. He won a three-way Republican primary in New Jersey’s 11th district in 1964 but lost the general election to freshman Rep. Joseph Minish by a 70%-30% margin.
Stubbs’ primary win was against another black candidate, Harold Scott. He won 63%-26%, with 11% going to Rocco Clarizo.
Stubbs was the longtime Newark Central Ward GOP chairman, and served as the deputy Essex County Register of Deeds and Mortgages.
When Republican Hymen Mintz declined to seek re-election as county register in 1974, the GOP picked Stubbs to run. Democrat Larrie West Stalks, the sister of Newark political legend Calvin West, easily defeated Stubbs in the general election.
This story was first published on January 21, 2019.