Progressives File in Union County, Announce Full Slate of Challengers

Jason Krychiw

Progressives File in Union County, Announce Full Slate of Challengers

For the second straight year, Progressive Democrats in Union County have fielded a slate of candidates to take on the entrenched incumbents in the June 8th Democratic Primary.

Jason Krychiw – a scientist, educator, Union County Democratic Committee member, and Vice-Chair of Progressive Democrats of New Jersey – announced his candidacy for State Senate in Legislative District 20 back in December. He is joined by Aissa C. Heath and Ricky Castaneda who declared for the two Assembly seats in LD20. Heath, a lifelong resident of Elizabeth, is a prominent organizer in the district with groups like Union County Mutual Aid and received approximately 14,000 votes in her run for Commissioner (formerly Freeholder) in 2020. Castaneda, who was also raised in Elizabeth, has run for local Board of Education before and is very involved in local community work. He is active in student government at Rutgers-Newark and co-founded a chapter of College Democrats there.

The three have racked up endorsements from local progressive and community groups like Progressive Democrats of New Jersey, Elizabeth Progressives, Sunrise Movement Union County, and the Nigerian American Public Affairs Committee, to name a few.

The trio is joined by a full slate of commissioner candidates: Sienna Bucu, a student advocate from Union Township who has extensive experience as a community organizer over issues of racial justice and safety in schools, and Terence Johnson and Evanda Henry, two long time Plainfield residents who have years of experience in youth outreach and community-oriented civic engagement across the county.

In Union Township, Antoinette Dukes is running for a seat on the local Township Committee for a second consecutive year after gaining nearly a third of the vote in a local race last year. In Plainfield, Mayoral Candidate Richard Wyatt and Fourth Ward City Council Candidate Terri Briggs-Jones have also joined the ticket. Wyatt is a current Board of Education Member in Plainfield and Terri-Jones has a long history of political involvement, barely losing out on the Fourth Ward seat in a prior election in 2017 where she lost by a mere 17 votes.

The slate will be running under the slogan of Progressive Democrats of New Jersey, striving for racial, social, economic, and environmental justice in their municipalities, Union County, LD-20, and the entire state of New Jersey.


Krychiw, Heath, and Castaneda are progressive Democrats running for office in LD-20.
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