He’s up for re-election this year, and no one knows whether Morristown Mayor Donald Cresitello will run. However, Council president John Cryan, who four years ago ran on the Democratic Party line with Cresitello, said he believes the mayor is likely to pursue reelection.
“I don’t know what he’s going to do,” said Cryan, a first cousin of State Democratic Party Chairman Joseph Cryan. “But I can’t see him walking away when things are starting to click, when development projects are starting to take off in Morristown. I can’t see him turning down ribbon cutting ceremonies. So my money is on him running.”
Sources say Cresitello at one point told former Councilman Timothy Dougherty that he wouldn’t run for mayor again. Dougherty was poised to run.
But now the typically headstrong Cresitelloisn’t sure.
“I absolutely have not made up my mind,” said the mayor, who in 2005 raised $160,000 before pay-to-play laws. He knows that if he decides to go this time he would have to rely more heavily on smaller contributions from out of town and out of state.
Still, “Can I raise money to run? Absolutely. Can I raise it overnight? Absolutely. My wife said I could run for mayor last night if I wanted to.”
A former candidate for U.S. Senate who makes no secret of his statewide ambition, Cresitello added, “She also said if I run for governor, she would absolutely divorce me.”
Sources say Dougherty – who backed down from running for reelection four years ago – plans to run regardless of what Cresitello decides. If the mayor does run, that would portend an intriguing fight to determine who gets the party line.
Doughtery’s wife chairs the Democratic Party in Morristown. Moreover, as a self-branded Lyndon Johnson public works Democrat, Cresitello hasn’t endeared himself to local liberals with his hard-line stand against illegal immigration. But the mayor notes, “I have good support among voting Latinos.”
In the event that Cresitello doesn’t run, two men who could step up andbattle Dougherty for the party line are Councilman Anthony Cattano and Cryan. Sources say Cresitello would be likely to support former Council President Cattano first and the younger Cryan second.
The veteran Cattano doesn’t go after a lot of headlines. But he’s a big vote-getter based in part on a lot of people knowing him from his 30-year Little League coaching career.
As for Cryan, “I’m going to keep my options open,” he said. “Anyone in my position should have ambition. It keeps you in tune to what the voters want.”