UNION COUNTY – Six Democrats are challenging incumbent Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs in the June primary as she pursues a second term. She became the first woman to serve as Plainfield’s chief executive after defeating Robert Ferraro in 2005.
Two-term Democratic City Councilman and former Freeholder Adrian Mapp is the best-known challenger, but the crowded field also includes five other candidates. Ferraro, Carol Ann Browkaw Boles, an attorney; Thomas Turner, an IT consultant; Martin Cox, a Board of Education member and recently retired city employee; and Rebecca Kelley, a political newcomer, are also seeking the Democratic nomination. James Pivnichny will run unopposed on the Republican slate.
The other race of note is the Republican primary for the 21st Assembly District, which includes Berkeley Heights, Cranford, Garwood, Mountainside, New Providence, Roselle Park, Summit City, Watchung, Westfield and parts of Somerset, Morris and Essex counties.
Incumbent Assemblyman Jon Brammick of Westfield and Nancy Munoz, the widow of late Assemblyman Eric Munoz, received the endorsement of the Union County Republican organization.
Long Hill Mayor George Vitureira and Long Hill School Board Member Brian Meringolo are also running in the GOP primary.
Two Borough Council seats are up for election in Roselle this year, and both will have contested Democratic primaries. In the Second Ward, incumbent Sylvia Turnage is running as a “Roselle Independent Democrat” against Barbara Cochran, who has the party line. In the Fifth Ward, incumbent Christine Dansereau is running on the party line against Marc Baltimore.
Three slates of candidates are running in the Democratic primary for the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. Incumbents Alexander Mirabella of Fanwood and Deborah Scanlon of Union are seeking re-election with Mohamed S. Jalloh of Roselle on the party line. Carmen Southward of Linden and Marlena Abitanto of Elizabeth are running as “Democrats for Tax Reductions” and Harry O. Wyatt Jr. and James E. Moore Sr. of Roselle are running as “Roselle Independent Democrats.”
In Linden, Councilman Christopher Kolibas is running unopposed in the First Ward Democratic primary, while school board member Bryan Tomko is unopposed in the Ninth Ward Democratic primary. There are no local elections in Elizabeth, Rahway or Clark this year.