Mastrangelo Walks with Giants

Three incumbent Morris County freeholders appear well on their way to victory in what has been a particularly nasty 2019 election.

Who needs the Morris County Republicans when you have the New York Giants in your corner?

County Commissioner Tom Mastrangelo, who was not endorsed for reelection by the county’s Republican Committee, is running “off the line” and he has two former Giants helping him.

Ottis Anderson, a former running back, and Stephen Baker, a one-time wide receiver, are scheduled to attend a fundraiser tonight on Mastrangelo’s behalf. Both Anderson and Baker played for the Giants in the 1980’s and early 1990’s.

This is a pricey soiree at the Park Savoy in Florham Park. Tickets are $295 per person; elected officials and county committee members can get in for $150.

Within the world of Morris Republican politics, this is an interesting race, one that will test again the power of the county endorsement.

Morris Republicans had “open primaries” until last year when the committee endorsed for the first time.

This proved to be troublesome for BettyLou DeCroce, who lost the county endorsement and ultimately her Assembly seat to newcomer Christian Barranco.

This year, it’s incumbent Mastrangelo who was not endorsed by the committee.

Three commission seats are up and the committee endorsed incumbent Doug Cabana, Christine Myers and Sarah Neibart. They will be grouped together in Column 1 on the primary ballot.

Mastrangelo will be in Column 2 along with Joe Coppola, a political unknown running under the slogan, “Doing What’s Right For Morris.”

Mastrangelo said in a phone conversation today that he’s happy with his ballot position and that he has a good record of fiscal conservatism. He also talked about leading the opposition years ago to a plan to allow undocumented students at County College of Morris to pay in-county tuition rates. CCM officials eventually charged such students the out-of-state rate. Mastrangelo said his main concern was CCM finances.

Mastrangelo, who was first elected in 2010, said he feels he has good name recognition. On the other hand, county commissioners, and before them freeholders, are not widely known. So, a preferential ballot position could be key.

Or perhaps a “Hail Mary” pass.

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