Parsippany is in trouble and Republican Lou Valori says he’s the man to fix things.
Valori, a former township police officer and councilman, formally has announced plans to run for mayor against incumbent Democrat Michael Soriano.
“I am the candidate who will bring a positive vision to the township.” Valori said in a statement. “If we do not work today on making things better for tomorrow, I am afraid what Parsippany’s quality of life will be in five, seven, or 10 years. We are past the time for talk and empty campaign promises by mayoral candidates who do not deliver real results for the taxpayers.”
Valori has a Facebook page called “Parsippany First.”
It’s political in the sense that everything by a candidate is political, but not overly so, as the page eschews outlandish political pronouncements.
Instead, Valori uses the page for such things as highlighting township first responders, hyping local restaurants and talking about what he sees as a growing litter problem.
Valori is the first candidate officially off the mark, but other Republicans reportedly considering a run are Jamie Barberio, a former mayor, and Chris Mazzerella.
Multiple candidates would set up an interesting dynamic.
Morris County Republicans last week adopted a “county line,” allowing local parties to endorse primary candidates, thus giving them a leg up.
Valori chairs the Parsippany Republican Committee. So if the group endorses a mayoral candidate in the primary, Valori figures to have a good chance of getting it.
On that point, Valori said today that the committee hasn’t had any discussions about making an endorsement.
Soriano, who was elected in 2017, had a virtual campaign kickoff a few weeks ago. In both that event and his annual “state of the township” address in early January, the mayor stressed his opposition to over- development.
In Parsippany, a crowded and congested place as it is, this is a major issue.
For his part, Valori has accused Soriano of mismanaging township finances and overseeing a “spending frenzy.”
In contrast, the mayor contends he has ushered in fiscal stability, contending that he is avoiding budgets that keep property taxes artificially low in an election year, but raise them to compensate in other years.
As a more than 30-year resident, Valori says he has seen a “precipitous decline” in the state of Parsippany.
He added, “I can’t – in good conscience – sit idly by and let the Soriano-spiral continue at the detriment to our residents and businesses alike.”
Joe Biden carried Parsippany by more than 3,000 votes last fall, as did Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill.
That’s good news for Democrats going forward, although a high turnout presidential election may not be a true indicator. Back in 2019, it was Republicans who held three council seats in the township.