The Jockeying in Legislative District Twenty-Five

Bucco of Morris

Six Republicans from District Twenty-Five want to represent the GOP in the state Assembly. That’s how many people expressed a desire to fill a vacancy created by Anthony M. Bucco’s move to the Senate to replace his late father. Republican county committee members will pick Bucco’s replacement in the lower house at a convention Nov. 21 in Randolph.

The district includes 20 towns in Morris County and one, Bernardsville, in Somerset. Thursday afternoon was the deadline for candidates to come forward.

Two of the candidates – Aura Dunn of Mendham and John Barbarula of Randolph – ran unsuccessfully for the GOP Assembly nod in the June primary.

Others now in the running are Alison Deeb of Morristown, Sarah Neibart of Mendham Towsnhip, Al Ribeiro of Bernardsville and Bob Olejar of Randolph.

It takes a majority to win. If that doesn’t happen on the first ballot, which is likely with so many candidates, the top two will go head-to-head in a second vote.

The winner technically will get the seat only until the end of Bucco’s current Assembly term, which is mid-January. Another convention vote will be needed to fill the seat Bucco officially is vacating in January. That’s because Bucco ran successfully for the Assembly last week even though he had already moved to the Senate.

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