Passaic County Democrats seem committed to filling Assemblyman Alfred Steele's 35th district seat with an African American candidate, with Passaic County Freeholder Director Elease Evans, Paterson City Council President Ken Morris, and Rev. James Kuykendall, who ran an unsuccessful race for Mayor against incumbent Joey Torres in 2006, heading the short list of potential candidates.
Haledon Mayor Dominick Stampone is seeking support for the seat, but insiders say that as a white male, he is an unlikely candidate in a district that is mostly African American and Hispanic.
The 35th has never elected a minority to the Senate; the incumbent is John Girgenti, a Hawthorne resident who has served in the Legislature since 1977. The district's third legislator is Nellie Pou, a latina and the Chairwoman of the Assembly Appropriations Committee.