The Significance of DeAngelo Placing Third at the Party Convention

Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-14) prepares to take the stage.

Dan Benson, the assemblyman from the 14th District, this weekend received the backing of the

Benson

Mercer County Democratic Committee for the office of Mercer County Executive. That was expected. What insiders perhaps didn’t see coming was Benson’s longtime running mate, veteran Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-14), placing third in a contest for two assembly seats.

In a quest for the backing of the committee, DeAngelo finished behind fellow contenders Tennille McCoy and Rick Carabelli.

Even without the slogan of the committee at his side, DeAngelo, a labor leader first elected to the assembly in 2007, said he plans to run in the Democratic Primary.

“I’m starting my campaign today,” DeAngelo told InsiderNJ this morning.

He plans to back Benson over incumbent Brian Hughes for Mercer County Executive.

“The committee has spoken and I support the line,” the assemblyman said. “If Brian won the line, it would be a different story. I’ll be out there supporting the line and campaigning for Wayne DeAngelo. I will not be taking a position on the other two candidates [McCoy and Carabelli].”

DeAngelo took the news in stride.

“It is what it is,” said the electrical worker by trade. “I’ve got a primary election to win.”

He acknowledged the new terrain of his own party, and said he is committed to reminding voters why he is the best choice for the job.

“One of the important things is winning a primary, certainly, but so is winning the general,” the assemblyman said. “I recognize that it is a different world with the direction the party is pushing in some ways; and hard. But I want people to remember that I have been able to grab stability from both sides of the aisle. Change is good, but change merely for the sake of change is not necessarily a good thing.

“I am a quintessential union person representing working families,” added the veteran lawmaker. “I do think the process often is not hearing those families and instead is following all the extreme directions in the news today.”

He decried the party’s loss of connection to labor and said he is that connection and intends to continue representing a way to reinvest in actual working people, but pet causes.

“I don’t think anyone thought Steve Sweeney was going to lose,” DeAngelo said. “Of course, that was a general election.”

Whatever happens finally, he said he intends to run hard, run to win, and to never lose sight of those people he represents.

“I’ll be out there on Saturday marching in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade,” he said.

DeAngelo later issued a press release.

Press Release – 3/6/2023 Mercer County

“I want to congratulate and endorse my fellow candidates for successfully winning the Mercer
County Democratic line: Daniel R Benson-County Executive, John Cimino and Lucy
Walter-County Commissioners, Jack Kemler – Sheriff, Shirley Turner-Senate 15th, Verlina
Reynolds-Jackson and Anthony Verrelli- Assembly 15th, Andrew Zwicker-Senate 16th, Roy
Freiman and Mitchelle Drulis-Assembly 16th, Linda Greenstein- Senate 14th, Rick Carabelli,
Tennille McCoy and myself-Assembly 14th, on their success at the Mercer County Democratic
Convention. Now is the time for all Mercer County Democrats to come together and to unite
behind our County Executive candidate Dan Benson and our entire Democratic ticket for victory.
Thank you to the Democratic Committee for the opportunity to run on the ballot again this
election cycle and for all the support you have given me over the years. It has truly been an
honor to represent the 14th district and I am excited to continue working with so many amazing
people.

“As I seek to continue my role as one of the 14th District Assembly representatives, I am hereby
expressing my desire to run for re-election and would be grateful to once again receive the
District votes for my re-election.”

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