EDISON – Last night, the Middlesex County Democratic Organization convened at the annual County Democratic Convention to endorse candidates in County Surrogate, County Freeholder and State legislative races to be held this coming November.
“Middlesex County is incredibly fortunate to have so many talented, dedicated individuals willing to answer the call to public service,” said MCDO Chairman Kevin McCabe. “The County Committee has endorsed a strong slate of candidates who represent the best of what our county has to offer, and who will lead our county and our State well as we move into the future. I’m proud of the group of candidates that our county organization has endorsed, and I look forward to a strong showing this November, and beyond.”
At tonight’s convention, Surrogate Kevin Hoagland was endorsed to run for a sixth five-year term as Middlesex County Surrogate. Freeholder Charles E. Tomaro of Edison was endorsed to run for a third three-year term as Middlesex County Freeholder, and Freeholder Shanti Narra of North Brunswick, who has filled the unexpired term of Freeholder James Polos since October, was endorsed to run for the remaining year of the term.
“Surrogate Hoagland, as well as Freeholders Tomaro and Narra have distinguished themselves as excellent campaigners and fantastic leaders,” said Chairman McCabe. “I’m confident that their leadership credentials and tremendous energy on the campaign trail will result in success at the polls this November.”
Monroe Council President Leslie Koppel was chosen by the County Committee to replace Freeholder Deputy Director Carol Bellante, who announced her resignation from the board earlier this year. Koppel is expected to be sworn in to the Board of Chosen Freeholders at the February 16 meeting.
“Carol Bellante has been a true trailblazer for women in politics and in the labor movement, and her contributions in both of these areas cannot be overstated,” said Chairman McCabe. “While we’re losing a tireless advocate on behalf of Middlesex County’s working families, I believe Council President Koppel will be a very worthy successor to the mantle that Freeholder Bellante is leaving behind.”
In addition to the surrogate, and three county freeholder seats, candidates were nominated and endorsed to run in the seven legislative districts which represent Middlesex County in the State Legislature. The candidates who received the Middlesex Democratic endorsement to run in 2017 are:
- David Lande of Millstone Township, to run for State Senate and Gene Davis of Jackson and Nirav Patel of Old Bridge to run for the General Assembly in New Jersey’s 12th Legislative District.
- State Senator Linda Greenstein of Plainsboro and Assemblymen Dan Benson and Wayne DeAngelo, both from Hamilton Township, to continue to represent the people of the 14th Legislative District;
- Zenon Christodoulou of North Branch to run for State Senate, and Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker of Kingston and Roy Freiman of Hillsborough to run in the 16th Legislative District. Chairman McCabe noted that the party hopes to increase on the historic win of Assemblyman Zwicker two years ago in a district once considered a lock for the Republican Party.
- State Senator Bob Smith of Piscataway and Assemblymen Joseph Danielsen of Franklin and Joe Egan of New Brunswick to continue to fight for the interests of New Jersey’s 17th Legislative District;
- State Senator Patrick J. Diegnan, Jr. of South Plainfield and Assembly members Nancy Pinkin of East Brunswick and Robert Karabinchak of Edison to continue to represent the 18th Legislative District in the State Legislature. Senator Diegnan and Assemblyman Karabinchak were both elected to unexpired terms in November 2016;
- State Senator Joe Vitale of Woodbridge, and Assemblyman Craig Coughlin of Woodbridge and Yvonne Lopez of Perth Amboy to represent the 19th Legislative District. Ms. Lopez is the current Executive Director / CEO of the Puerto Rican Association for Human Development, Inc. (PRAHD), and was endorsed to run for the seat currently held by Assemblyman John Wisniewski of Sayreville, who is running in the Democratic primary for Governor;
- State Senator Nicholas P. Scutari of Linden and Assemblymen Jerry Green of Plainfield and James Kennedy of Rahway to continue to serve the people of the 22nd Legislative District.
“Our slate of candidates for State Legislative seats includes so many amazing leaders for their respective communities, and whether we’re talking about respected incumbents or energetic newcomers, I think we can rest assured that Middlesex County will be well-represented in the halls of power in Trenton,” said Chairman McCabe. “We have successful business people, community activists, longtime lawmakers and policy setters, and an award-winning physicist, all running under the banner of the Middlesex County Democratic Organization. I believe we have a few openings for some pickups in this November’s election, and I look forward to working with all the candidates to help secure and increase the Democratic majority in the Statehouse this fall.”