In Chairman’s Fight with Colleen Mahr, Scutari Burnishes the Backing of Women

NJ's Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards dismissed a complaint filed by Linden Mayor Derek Armstead against state Senator Nick Scutari. The complaint alleged that a Scutari ally had intimidated Armstead's allies, tried to deny their civil rights and attempted to force them out of a Democratic County Committee race.

LINDEN, NJ- Today, several prominent women candidates who stepped forward to run for municipal office have released statements highlighting their support for Senator Nick Scutari for Union County Democratic Committee Chairman. They join other Union County women voices, including Freeholder Vernell Wright (Union Twp.), Freeholder Linda Carter (Plainfield), and Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski (Cranford). A full list is attached at the bottom. 


Luisa Bianco – 2014 and 2016 Candidate for Scotch Plains Council 

“As a woman who ran twice for public office, I know how important it is to have support from the leadership around me. Nick didn’t just support my campaign financially, he invested his own personal time in my campaign and my team. There are so many reasons I believe he’s the most qualified candidate for county chair, but what stands out for me the most is that he was there to support me.” 


Councilwoman Rhashonna Cosby – 2014 Candidate for Linden Mayor; 2016 candidate for re-election to Linden City Council; 2018 Candidate for Linden Mayor 

“When I stepped forward to challenge an obviously unqualified man in the Democratic Primary for Mayor of Linden, I knew it was going to be hard. Every step of the way, Nick was with me. And when I was challenged in the primary for my council seat in 2016, Nick again stepped up and defended me. Since he fought for me, I’m proud to stand with him.  He’ll be a great county chairman.” 


Councilwoman Susan Poage – 2017 candidate for Berkeley Heights Council 

“We need to invest in our suburban candidates and parties if we’re going to be successful. As a first time candidate in a town previously dominated by Republicans, I wasn’t sure how much support we’d get. Nick Scutari came across the county and invested in me and my local party when few others did. He’s an experienced and thoughtful legislator who can deliver a lot for our county and our Democratic party.  I’m proud to support him as Chairman” 


Karen Sheehy – former Linden City Democratic Chairwoman  

“Don’t be fooled by the opportunists who will do anything to empower themselves. I’ve known Nick for decades, and I’ve seen how passionately he fights on behalf of those without a voice. He did so on the Board of Education, as a Freeholder, and he still does it as a Senator and municipal chairman. He’ll not only make an amazing county chairman, but he’ll promote and protect the principles we need as a Party.” 

Women for Scutari (In formation):  

Margaret McManus, Winfield Twp. Chairwoman 

Bette Jane Kowalski, Freeholder 

Linda Carter, Freeholder 

Susan Poage, Berkeley Heights Councilwoman  

Kay Ceceri, Kenilworth Councilwoman 

Linda Karlovitch, Kenilworth Councilwoman
Gretchen Hickey, Linden 10th Ward Councilwoman 

Rhashonna Cosby, Linden 5th Ward Councilwoman 

Joylette Mills-Ransome, Plainfield Vice President Councilwoman 

Rebecca Williams, Plainfield Councilwoman 

Jennifer Wenson Maier, Rahway 5th Ward Councilwoman 

Joanna Miles, Rahway Councilwoman 

Carla Walker, Roselle 2nd Ward Councilwoman 

Kim Shaw, Roselle 4th Ward Councilwoman 

Patricia Perkins-Auguste, Elizabeth Councilwoman-at-Large/DSC Member 

Maria Carvalho, Elizabeth Board of Education President 

Diane Barbosa, Elizabeth Board of Education Member 

Charlene Bathelus, Elizabeth Board of Education Member 

Stephanie Goncalves, Elizabeth Board of Education Member 

Rosa Moreno-Ortega, Elizabeth Board of Education Member 

Laura Scutari, UCDC Comptroller/Committeewoman 

Luisa Bianco, UCDC Vice Chair 

Karen Sheehy, former Linden City Democratic Chairwoman 

Cherron Rountree, Co-Founder UCDWC 

Phyllis Mirabella, Co-Founder UCDWC 

Amy Wagner, Co-Founder UCDWC 

Angie Devanney, Co-Founder UCDWC/Committeewoman 

Danni Newbury, UC LGBTQ Caucus Founder 

Janna Williams – UC Young Dems 

Nathalie Hernandez – UC Young Dems 

Nicole DeAugstine – UC Young Dems 

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