The only surprises in Morris on Saturday may’ve been the margins.
In LD24, Morris Republicans gathered for their annual nominating convention endorsed outgoing Assemblyman Space over Steve Lonegan 80-14. Space running mates Dawn Fantasia and Mike Inganamort defeated rivals Josh Aikens and Jason Sarnoski by decisive marines: 78 votes for Inganamort, 69 for Fantasia, 25 for Sarnoski and 17 for Aikens.
However, since the 24th is dominated by line-less Sussex, Team Lonegan’s defeat may not prove as electorally fatal as it might be for the losers in LD26.
Incumbent State Senator Joe Pennacchio trounced sitting Morris County Commissioner Tom Mastrangelo 174 votes to 52. Assemblymen Jay Webber (200votes) and Brian Bergen (145 votes) kept pace with their ally Pennacchio, running well ahead of ex-moderate Assemblywoman Betty Lou DeCroce who garnered only 46. LD26 is Morris-centric which means Mastrangelo and DeCroce face an uphill climb heading into June.
“Today’s results make clear what we have known all along,” the LD26 victors declared in a joint statement. “The grassroots of our party has spoken and they have given us their overwhelming support. We are grateful to once again be running with the support of the Morris County GOP as we fight against the woke agenda, work to secure direct property tax relief, and ensure that our most vulnerable residents are always protected. Today’s vote is just the first step in our journey and our team will continue working hard every day to ensure that the residents of the 26th district have a voice in Trenton that is always looking out for their best interests.”
Meanwhile, Morris County Commissioner Tayfun Selen (341 votes) held off Paul DeGroot (113 votes) and Anthony Somma (95 votes) in his bid for re-nomination.
Saturday’s convention ran smoothly without any of the hiccups of one year ago when machine issues forced an adjournment of the convention with two congressional contests unresolved.