Lambertville Mayor Dave DelVecchio will not give further consideration to a possible Assembly run in the 15 legislative district to succeed outgoing U.S. Rep.-elect Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12), a Hunterdon County Democratic source tells PolitickerNJ.
DelVecchio first told PolitickerNJ that he was mulling a bid for the seat earlier this month, ultimately maintaining his decision would hinge on “who’s in the race” in the end. A special Mercer County Democratic convention will be held in January to select a replacement for Watson Coleman, who won her race in the 12th congressional district against state Sen. Linda Greenstein (D-14) in November.
While DelVecchio never officially announced a campaign, he is the third potential candidate who had expressed interest in the LD15 seat to back out in recent weeks. Former West Windsor Councilman Kamal Khanna withdrew his candidacy shortly after announcing his intent to run, while Mercer County Freeholder Lucy Walters withdrew her name from consideration last week.
Both individuals threw their support behind Mercer County Democratic Chair Liz Muoio, who announced her candidacy after much speculation earlier this month. Muoio, along with first term Mercer County Freeholder Sam Frisby, is considered a frontrunner in the race to replace Watson Coleman.
Frisby is expected to make an official campaign announcement sometime this week.
DelVecchio could not be reached for comment on his decision, but the news comes just days after the Times of Trenton reported that the former Democratic strategist was arrested last month in Mansfield on charges of driving while intoxicated. The Mansfield Municipal Court has since dismissed the charge, but a video that surfaced today shows DelVecchio on Nov. 9th taking and failing field sobriety tests despite a breath analysis showing no evidence of alcohol.
One question arising from DelVecchio’s decision is who Hunterdon County’s 22 Democratic delegates, in the mayor’s absence, will get behind at the special convention next month. Hunterdon County Democratic Chair Arlene Quiñones Perez said the county organization will convene a screening on January 8th to bring LD15 candidates in front of county voters and delegates to help make that decision.
Sources confirm that the special convention is set for Jan. 24th.