Union County Freeholder and Linden Democratic Municipal Chairman Chris Hudak today endorsed Newark West Ward Councilman Ron C. Rice for Congress in the 10th District.
Hudak made the endorsement just days after hosting a candidates’ forum for the CD 10 contestants. Newark Council President Donald Payne, Jr., was a no-show. Today, Mayor Richard Gerbounka, an independent who regularly wars with the local Democratic Committee, endorsed Payne only to have Hudak try to muddy the matter.
Or Gerbounka muddied Hudak’s endorsement, depending on the party in question.
In addition to the freeholder, a majority of the Linden City Council put their imprimatur on Rice’s candidacy. 1st Ward Councilman Chris Kolibas; 2nd Ward Councilman Rich Koziol, 3rd Ward Councilman Peter Brown, 5th Ward Councilwoman Rhashonna Cosby-Hurling, 6th Ward Councilman Bob Sadowski and 8th Ward Councilwoman Michele Yamakaitis all declared their support for Rice.
“It was clear from the beginning that Ron is the best choice to represent the City of Linden in Congress,” said Hudak. “Councilman Rice is no stranger to Union County, having campaigned for Democratic candidates here for years. In this era of machine politics and political bosses and their disproportionate and unfair influence, Ron is more than his own man; he is a man of the people. He understands policy and has the legislative know-how to get things done in Washington. There is no better person for the job.”
Other public officials who have worked beside the Newark West Ward Councilman have echoed that sentiment.
Maplewood Deputy Mayor Kathleen Levinthal and South Orange Trustee Howard Levinson joined their Union County counterparts in their support of Rice’s candidacy.
“I’ve worked with the Newark Councilman at both the joint meeting of Essex and Union counties on shared services in Essex County. I’ve seen his commitment and energy. He is a practical person who will be an exceptional congressman for the Tenth District,” Levinthal said.
“We are amassing a coalition of independent Democrats who are eager to see not just change but progress in Washington,” Rice explained.
“Ron will be a tremendous asset to South Orange and the rest of the 10th District. I have previously and am currently serving with him on the Board of the JMECU Sewer Commission and have learned that he possesses intellectual acumen, strength and energy to fight for the resources that we need. We look forward to having Ron C. Rice in Congress,” Trustee Levison said.