On Tuesday, Nov. 2, voters across New Jersey will head to the polls to cast ballots for their ballots to fill all 80 seats in the state Assembly and 40 seats in the state Senate.
The 25th is made up of 21 municipalities in Morris and Somerset counties: Bernardsville, Boonton Borough and Boonton Township, Chester Borough and Chester Township, Denville, Dover, Mendham Borough and Mendham Township, Mine Hill, Morris Township, Morristown, Mount Arlington, Mountain Lakes, Netcong, Randolph, Rockaway, Roxbury, Victory Gardens, Washington Township and Wharton.
As of July, 33% the district’s registered 173,052 voters identify as Republican, while 31% are Democrats.
The district’s three Republican incumbents—State Sen. Anthony Bucco, Assemblywoman Aura Dunn and Assemblyman Brian Bergen—are all seeking re-election, billing themselves as “the commonsense taxpayer advocates in Trenton.”
Democrats have put forward Morris Township Mayor Jeffrey Grayzel for state Senate and Mountain Lakes councilman Laura Barnett and former Wharton councilwoman Patricia Veres for Assembly. The slate has said its platform prioritizes pandemic recovery, affordability, protecting women’s health, preventing gun violence and the environment.
Here is a rundown of who is running for a seat in the State Legislature in the 25th District.
Republican: Anthony M. Bucco (Incumbent)
Bio: Bucco took office in 2019 after being tapped to fill the vacancy left when his father, Anthony Bucco, passed away. Prior to that, he had been an Assemblyman since 2010 and held positions such as conference leader, Republican whip and deputy Republican leader and roles on committees for law and public safety and commerce. The Morris County lawmaker has been a outspoken critic of how Gov. Phil Murphy’s decision during the pandemic have affected small businesses and questioning of the state’s Motor Vehicle Commission operations.
North-JerseyNews.com Fact: Bucco—an attorney specializing in local government law—has served as a Boonton school board member and a Boonton volunteer firefighter. He has also been a commissioner on the Morris County Sheriff’s Crime Stoppers program since 1998.
Democrat: Jeffrey Grayzel
Bio: Grayzel is serving his third term on the Morris Township committee and was re-elected mayor earlier this year. In 2007, Grayzel became the first Democrat to serve on the traditionally GOP-led committee in over three decades. He also made history in 2019, when he became Morris Township’s first Democratic mayor. A former Bristol-Myers Squibb executive, Grayzel is now president of a medical device development firm.
North-JerseyNews.com Fact: Last year, Grayzel announced his run for Bucco’s seat but lost the Democratic nomination to Rupande Mehta of Denville.
Republican: Brian Bergen (Incumbent)
Bio: The Denville resident took office in 2020 and currently serves on committees for appropriations and telecommunications and utilities. The Iraq War combat veteran is the owner and operator of an interior landscaping company. Bergen also served as a Denville councilman.
North-JerseyNews.com Fact: Bergen’s company, Bergen Botanicals, donates 20% of its profits to veteran organizations.
Republican: Aura Dunn (Incumbent)
Bio: A Mendham resident, Dunn was appointed to fill the Assembly seat vacated by Bucco in 2019 and won a special election a year later. Since then, she has served on committees for human services, women and children and commerce and economic development. Dunn’s professional experience includes serving as a district director for US. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, a budget analyst on education policy for the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee and a policy advisor for the House Veterans Affairs Committee.
North-JerseyNews.com Fact: Since 2010, her family has hosted a New York City child each summer through the Fresh Air Fund.
Democrat: Patricia Veres
Bio: A former Wharton councilwoman, Veres is an attorney specializing in divorce litigation and mediation. In addition to to her legal practice, Veres owns Randolph Jazzercise. Her experience also includes working as Denville Township’s public defender and volunteering at the Legal Clinic at the Women’s Center at County College of Morris and the Battered Women’s Legal Advocacy Project.
North-JerseyNews.com Fact: Veres is married to Michael Slack, a retired assistant executive director at NJ Transit.
Democrat: Laura Barnett
Bio: Barnett has served on the Mountain Lakes Borough Council since 2016, including as deputy mayor and mayor. She is a former business strategy consultant with IBM Global Services and Booz Allen & Hamilton.
North-JerseyNews.com Fact: Barnett has held roles on the boards for the local Home & School Association and Mountain Lakes Sailing Association. She has also been active in coaching travel soccer and Destination Imagination, a youth program that encourages teamwork and innovation.