Cresitello at the Starting Gate


MORRISTOWN – Donald Cresitello is ready to do it again – run for mayor that is.

“More than likely” is how Cresitello put it when asked this morning about rumors he wants another crack at the top job in Morristown.

His road won’t be simple. It’s far too late to run as a partisan – the primary is next Tuesday – so Cresitello’s path would be as an independent. To do that, he must file a nominating petition by primary day.

That shouldn’t be too difficult for him philosophically, given the fact he’s switched parties more than once during a career that began more than 40 years ago.

The intrigue here is palpable.

A possible Cresitello candidacy is being promoted on a social media site that is also backing Esperanza Porras-Field in Tuesday’s Democratic mayoral primary. This really isn’t very encouraging for Porras-Field, but the guiding principle here appears to be opposition to Mayor Tim Dougherty.

It was Dougherty who ousted Cresitello in the 2009 Democratic primary. This was a nasty, hard-fought campaign, but Dougherty ended up winning rather easily.

Cresitello, who was first elected mayor in the late 1970’s and again in 2005, has been spending a lot of time in south Jersey, But he said he re-registered as a Morristown voter last October and that he’s in town about five days a week.

Cresitello’s most recent mayoral tenure was an eventful one.

He was involved in launching many redevelopment projects that have now come to fruition, giving the town a sort of buzz.

Cresitello also waded into controversy by trying to use a federal law to crack down on illegal immigration, which was, and is, a Morristown reality. At the time, that put Cresitello, a Democrat, to the right of then Republican governor Chris Christie.

Dougherty seems to be taking a possible Cresitello challenge in stride. After all, he still has to win the primary against Porras-Field.

Saying  “everybody has the right to run,” Dougherty added that he’ll wait until 8:15 p.m. on Election Night and see where things stand.

His primary campaign got a boost today with the endorsement of Local 243 of the town’s professional fire officers.

A letter from the local praised Dougherty for supporting the fire bureau by, among other things, purchasing new equipment and combating “stacking,” which puts firefighters and residents at risk.

The local PBA, by the way, has endorsed Porras-Field.

Porras-Field said in a conversation earlier this week that she’s  “walked” the town talking to voters and that they’re excited.

“Everybody feels it is time for him to go,” she said of Dougherty. One of Porras-Field’s main campaign planks are term limits, given the fact Dougherty has been mayor for 12 years.

Porras-Field also has complained about “corruption” and the fact many lawsuits have been filed against the town. Such litigation isn’t good for Morristown, she says.

So what happens if Porras-Field wins the primary?

Would Cresitello run against her?

Guess we’ll find out.


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