Woodland Park Mayor Keith Kazmark will not run for Congress in the 11th District next year, and will instead back retired Navy helicopter pilot Mikie Sherrill, according to a Democratic Party source.
A popular local presence, Kazmark stuck a big toe into the 11th District, gauging his chances as that Democratic alternative to run in 2018 against a town hall-resistant U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11).
But he ultimately shied away from pulling the trigger on a run this week, deciding instead to back Sherill, a Montclair mom and former prosecutor.
It’s a significant move, and a big win for Sherrill ($195K in the bank, according to the Federal Campaign Commission) as she looks to gain traction against Passaic County Freeholder John Bartlett (already a declared candidate). Kazmark – whom Passaic sources saw as a possible rival to Bartlett – appeared to have stronger grassroots support than Bartlett as long as his name circulated in the home county portion of the district.
The endorsement by a fellow Passaic County elected official – one with local muscle – of Sherrill, hurts Bartlett. But Kazmark’s decision not to run gives an opening to the Passaic elected official from Wayne.
Another possible candidate and a resident of Sherrill’s home county of Essex, Livingston Councilman Al Anthony (Pictured above with Kazmark) has not yet made a final decision about whether or not he will run next year.