Orange Councilman already on ballot as Independent vs. Hackett

First-term Orange Councilman Ed Marable, Jr., on the ballot as an Independent Assembly candidate against Mims Hackett in the 27th district, says he is the best candidate in the race — "regardless of what happens to Mims."

The Orange native, a self-described Independent Democrat, said he filed for the Assembly in June out of a sense of frustration over Hackett's concentration of power. He said he was frustrated by the Essex Democratic Organization's decision to withdraw support for Assemblyman Wilfredo Caraballo's re-election.

I'm a Seton Hall law grad," said Marable. "I worked for Fred Caraballo. He is an honest man of integrity and an excellent state Assemblyman. When I saw what happened to him because he stood up for his principles."

Marable said that Caraballo's treatment "inspired" him to run for the Legislature. "I amindependent in the truest sense of the word."

Marable, 53, workedfor the New JerseyOffice of the Public Defenerfor 21 years before retiring. He was elected to the OrangeCouncil in 2006.

"If he's innocent, I hope he's exonerated," Marable told

But Marable drew one distinction between him and Hackett, who was arrested today and charged with accepting bribes to influence a public contract.

"He can't step out as an independent voice," he said. "I can."

Orange Councilman already on ballot as Independent vs. Hackett