Edison Mayoral Race Could Have Intrigue

Mayor Jun Choi

Mayor Jun Choi

EDISON – Council President Robert Diehl and Councilwoman Antonia Ricigliano have both expressed interest in running for Mayor next year, and Councilman Anthony Massaro is considering his options.

The 2009 election season could get very interesting, since Mayor Jun Choi has indicated that he will seek re-election whether or not he gets the support of the local Democratic Party.

To be the Democratic Party’s nominee, a candidate has to win the majority vote of the 156 Township Committee members, who vote using a secret ballot. Any registered Democrat can screen before the party and letters of intent are due before the screening process starts in March.

The party’s nominee will run on a joint ticked with county and state candidates and will receive the support of the local organization, said Democratic Committee Chairman Thomas “Doc” Paterniti.

Choi defeated the party’s nominee George Spadoro in the 2005 Democratic Primary. The party supported Choi in the general election, when he defeated former Democrat Bill Stephens who ran as an independent.

Paterniti said that a lot could happen between now and the primary election in June. He speculated that Choi, who was a strong supporter of the Obama campaign, could be recruited by the new President’s administration and that might change the complexion of the local race.

The committee chairman said that the organization would conduct a poll sometime in January, but did not divulge the names of candidates that would be part of the poll.

“You may get a surprising candidate at the last minute, who nobody ever heard of, who may get selected by the committee,” Paterniti said.

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