Thrown off the line by the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO), Assemblyman Carmelo Garcia (D-33) gathered petition signatures over the weekend for an apparent swashbuckling go of it against the odds but in the end opted not to run again.
The ubiquitously grinning and friendly Garcia watched the deadline pass at 4:01 p.m. without submitting signatures toward a reelection bid.
Garcia, a resident of Hoboken, instead appears poised to run for a local council seat.
Annette Chaparro replaced Garcia as the HCDO’s candidate of choice.
The assemblyman issued a statement late in the day, following the passing of the state’s filing deadline for all legislative candidates.
“I have, over the past month, had an opportunity to assess my options for the future, both political and personal. I have been blessed by God, who has granted me much in my journey, including my newborn son Grayson,” Garcia said. “I have interacted with and helped thousands of 33rd District residents, who have shown enthusiastic support urging me to run for re-election to the Assembly. While I am truly humbled by their support, I have decided not to seek re-election at this time. As I finish my term, I will continue to fight for our most vulnerable citizens and those who are voiceless in the 33rd District. I will continue to craft meaningful legislation that will have a positive impact on all the people in the district, and I thank Speaker Prieto for his leadership in the Assembly and Hudson County, and for his friendship.
“For those of us who are elected officials, we know that our political lives can change at any time,” the assemblyman added. “Everything happens for a reason, and while my life in public service will change, it is by no means an end. Men and women don’t follow titles, they follow courage and I intend to continue to serve Hoboken and the 33rd District well into the future and voice the concerns of all its’ citizens, and I am excited about the possibilities for what can be accomplished, as I continue the call to public service with the support of my family and friends and with God’s guidance.”