Pascrell Maintains Backing from the Passaic County Dems

Veteran U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) won the line in his home county this morning.

His challenger, Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter (D-35), said, “I completed the interview at PCDC. I have positioned for a future run and will support Congressman Pascrell for this term.”

That goes for the Bergen County portion of the 9th District, too.

“Unfortunately time will not allow me to submit the necessary paperwork to participate in the Bergen Convention,” Sumter said. “I now have a better understanding of the process to compete as a candidate for Congress in District 9 and will continue to work to support the Democratic Party. The congressman and I were both very gracious and committed to the work that needs to happen in Congress.”

There were some tense moments in the North Jersey county earlier this week as Sumter indicated her interest in the congressional seat held by the 87-year-old Pascrell going back to 1997.

“I have submitted a letter to interview for the 9th Congressional District to the Passaic County Chair and committee,” Sumter told InsiderNJ.

She also plans to participate in the Bergen County Democratic Convention.

Earlier this year, sources told InsiderNJ that Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh would not run against Pascrell. The mayor had flag-poled it, eyeballed it, but ultimately decided against challenging the longtime congressman.

Sumter, however, was making calls last week and organizing what looks like a legitimate offensive, if not for 2024, well, then for 2026, if Sayegh is already also pawing at the turf in anticipation of the end of the Pascrell era.

Close to Passaic County Democratic Chairman John Currie, Sumter – in putting her name out there this time – appeared to lay down the gauntlet in front of Sayegh.

But there may be others to emerge as contenders, among them Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-35).

Certainly, based on the gathering storm, this looks like it will be the lion Pascrell’s last term in office.

The official story from the organization, below:

The Passaic County Democratic Committee announced its endorsement of candidates for the upcoming County Commissioner elections. The announcement, made by Passaic County Democratic Chairman John Currie, highlights the party’s commitment to diversity, leadership, community service, and the progress being made throughout the county.

Following a screening process with democratic municipal leaders from throughout the county held at the Passaic County Democratic Headquarters in Woodland Park, the committee has endorsed current commissioners John Bartlett from Wayne and Cassandra “Sandi” Lazzara from Little Falls, as well as newcomer Rodney De Vore from Paterson.

Chairman John Currie expressed his support for the slate, stating, “John Bartlett, Sandi Lazzara, and Rodney De Vore exemplify the best of what it means to serve in Passaic County. Each brings unique skills and a commitment to improving the quality of life for all our residents and families. We are confident in their ability to lead with integrity and are proud to endorse them for the position of County Commissioner.”

John Bartlett has been recognized for his contributions to regional infrastructure improvements and social services accessibility. Sandi Lazzara is known for her advocacy in human services and economic development, demonstrating a relentless pursuit of excellence in serving the county’s most vulnerable. Rodney De Vore emerges as a dedicated community leader committed to preserving and advancing the county’s interests through his extensive work in education and community service.

“This talented group of leaders will represent Passaic County well,” Currie added. “Their collective experience and vision will ensure that Passaic County continues to thrive. We encourage all residents to support them in the upcoming elections.”

For more information about the endorsed candidates and their campaign initiatives, residents are encouraged to contact the Passaic County Democratic Committee.

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