Amalia Duarte Announces Candidacy for Morris County Democratic Committee Chair

Mendham Township Committeewoman and Morris County Democratic Committee (MCDC) Electeds Caucus Chair Amalia Duarte today announced her candidacy for MCDC Chair. If elected, Amalia would become the first woman and the first Latina to hold the position of Chair in Morris County.

“The future is bright for Morris County Democrats. We need to unite to bring together the strongest possible county organization — one that harnesses our strengths, builds on the successes of recent years, and takes MCDC to the next level. The stakes could not be higher in Morris County. For years now, Morris Democrats, especially women, have been doing the work to make positive change in their communities, engage our neighbors, register voters, and flip seats. I represent this spirit of activism that has led to successes in Morris County. I am excited for the opportunity to lead a team that will drive Morris County Democrats to the next level.

“I am thankful to Chairman Chip Robinson, Vice-Chair Robin Gurin, and the entire Executive Board for all of their work. I will work hard to earn the support of my fellow Morris County Democrats as I lay out a series of goals to build up the party, support and train local candidates, increase fundraising, and execute a strategic plan for MCDC that takes us through 2022, 2023, and beyond. I am grateful for the support I have already received and will continue to speak with our committee members, elected officials, volunteers, and grassroots organizations about my track record and my vision for MCDC that reflects the energy and diversity of Morris County.”

The list of supporters that have backed Amalia includes:

Tim Dougherty, Mayor, Morristown

Sandi Mayer, Council Vice President, Morristown

Toshiba Foster, Councilwoman, Morristown

Tawana Cotton, Councilwoman, Morristown

Mark Gyorfy, Mayor, Morris Township

Cathy Wilson, Deputy Mayor, Morris Township

Jason Karr, Mayor, Morris Plains

Nancy Verga, Councilwoman, Morris Plains

Tom Menard, Mayor, Mountain Lakes

Jonathan Sackett, Council Vice President and Municipal Chair, Rockaway Township

Patrick Antonetti, Councilmember and Municipal Chair, Lincoln Park

Stacey Ewald, Committeewoman, Chatham Township

Celeste Fondaco, Committeewoman, Chatham Township

John Hoover, Councilman, Madison

Lindsey Weisman, Municipal Chair, Boonton

Leo Boerstoel, Municipal Chair, Boonton Township

Phil Ankel, Municipal Chair, Chatham Township

Greg Wright, Municipal Chair, Chester Township

Mark Magyar, Municipal Chair, Harding

Christine Clarke, Municipal Chair, Jefferson Township

Nancy Hellriegel, Municipal Chair, Mendham Borough

Susan Luciano, Municipal Chair, Mendham Township

Sheryl Coe, Municipal Chair, Mount Arlington

Andy Meissner, Municipal Chair, Mount Olive

John Holt, Municipal Chair, Washington Township

Cara Parmigiani, MCDC LGBTQ+ Caucus

Lew Candura, former MCDC Chair

Lisa Bhimani, former LD-25 Candidate and former MCDC Vice-Chair

 

The full letter of intent Amalia submitted to the Morris County Executive Board can be found attached or below: 

Dear Morris County Democratic Committee Executive Board:

This letter is to declare my intention to run for Chair of the Morris County Democratic Committee (MCDC). I am excited to make history by serving as the first woman and first Latina Chair of MCDC. I want to thank Chairman Robinson and his team for their leadership, and for all they have done to build up MCDC.

I am excited to bring to the County my experience of winning elections in a Republican-dominated town; building up and serving as Chair of the MCDC Elected Officials Caucus; and forging strong relationships across Morris County with municipal committee chairs and district leaders, caucus leaders, candidates and grassroots organizations.

As Chair, I will map out a vision and plan for MCDC, working toward strategic short- and long-term goals. With increased numbers of Democrats moving into Morris County, there is strong potential to win more races. We need to create a solid infrastructure throughout the county to hold our congressional seats and win at the local level in 2022 and to prepare for winning key races in 2023, 2024 and 2025.

I have worked hard since 2017 in my community and across Morris County to support Democratic candidates and elected officials and to raise the profile of MCDC.

Most recently, I organized the first-ever, county-wide ongoing Campaign Coaches training program to help local candidates and campaigns win in the 2022 election cycle. Typically, training has occurred at the beginning of the cycle and then candidates and campaigns were left on their own. This program will continue through Election Day.

Another core responsibility of the Chair is to build the Party from the ground up and generate positive press, visibility and momentum. I have already done so in Morris County and am excited to build on that momentum, if I am elected to serve as Chair.

In August 2020, I spearheaded the planning and co-emceed a celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage. I organized and led an important Morris County vigil on Jan. 6, 2022, to mark the horrible insurrection and breach of the U.S. Capitol. I organized a group to speak out at a recent County Commissioner meeting in support of a woman’s right to choose.

All of these actions received positive press and traction across social media platforms. Just as important, they created a sense of community and common purpose for Democrats from communities across Morris County.

As Chair of the MCDC Elected Officials Caucus, I created a forum for sharing best practices and ideas and to offer support for officials who felt isolated serving on a GOP-dominated governing body. Our caucus meets regularly and has shared information about Resolutions/Proclamations to celebrate Pride Month, Black History Month and Women’s History Month and to condemn the Jan. 6 insurrection.

I have helped showcase that Democratic officials know how to govern. We have shared information about adopting local ordinances around development and protecting the environment. After Tropical Storm Isaias, we organized to push for greater accountability from JCP&L. And, I encourage electeds to attend Morris County League of Municipality meetings and other County events.

As Chair, I will ensure that our Democratic elected officials have support and resources from MCDC that will help them win re-election.

Finally, the Chair is also responsible for fundraising. I bring experience, skills and a track record of fundraising success. I work for a nonprofit and serve on state and local nonprofit boards, so I am knowledgeable about how to raise money for projects and causes.

In my community, I was a leader in two high-profile, very successful fundraising efforts. In 2017, I co-chaired a fundraising campaign to rebuild a playground that brought in almost $100,000 in just six months. Similarly, I served on a fundraising committee with my church that raised nearly $150,000 in just a few months for emergency facility improvements. Professionally, I successfully won grant awards of $115,000 in several years of writing grants.

As Chair, I will develop a strategic fundraising plan that will meet the needs of MCDC as well as our candidates. I will work with the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, and other Chairs with common interests, to ensure that our Congressional and statewide candidates receive support and resources from MCDC. I will also ensure that MCDC can fund innovative initiatives focused on turning out the vote, messaging and voter registration.

In closing, I appreciate the foundation that has been built by Chairman Robinson, the Executive Board and all who have volunteered with MCDC in leadership roles over the previous years.

I also want to thank the backbone of MCDC – the many volunteers, donors and grassroots organizations who have worked tirelessly to win elections and flip local council and Congressional seats. I am looking forward to continuing to partner with them as Chair and support their efforts.

It’s time to take Morris County Democrats to the next level. It’s time to build up our municipal committees. It’s time to recruit candidates to contest seats in every single town. It’s time to increase excitement and fundraising to lay a foundation for future success!

Sincerely,

Amalia Duarte

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