Republicans pick Gaglione to challenge Quijano

Union County Republicans have chosen Union Township Board of Education President Linda Gaglione to challenge Assemblywoman Annette Quijano in the 20th Legislative Direct.

Gaglione unsuccessfully challenged State Sen. Ray Lesniak last year, getting 4,478 votes to Lesniak’s 9,760. She was unanimously chosen to challenge Quijano at a county committee meeting on Tuesday night in Kenilworth.

Quijano was recently sworn into office after being narrowly chosen by the Union County Democratic Committee last month to replace Assemblyman Neil Cohen, who resigned after child pornography was allegedly found on his legislative office computer.

Cohen remains in an undisclosed mental health facility, according to sources. Charges have still not been filed against him.

Democrats have a large registration advantage in the legislative district, which is dominated by the City of Elizabeth and includes the towns of Union, Kenilworth and Roselle.

Gaglione could not be reached for comment.

Union County Republican Chairman Phil Morin said that if the stars line up just right, Gaglione could have a shot at winning.

“I think she brings good experience, having run before for a legislative level office, and having the experience working on the school board for several years,” he said. “If we catch the right waves, we can be successful… I think realistically a lot of what happens below the ticket in that district will depend on what happens on the top of the ticket in the president and Senate race.”

Republicans pick Gaglione to challenge Quijano