Alison Deeb, the Republican councilwoman who lost her Fourth Ward seat to Democratic newcomer Sandi Mayer last week, has set her sights on a higher office: Anthony M. Bucco’s Assembly seat.
Deeb posted her intentions on Facebook over the weekend:
“Celebrating my 12 years of honorable public service to Morristown and decision to run for state Assembly to fill the seat vacated by Tony Anthony M. Bucco,” Deeb announced Saturday night from Café Roma in Chatham. “I ordered the Osso Bucco!”
GOP committee members from the 25th legislative district are scheduled to choose a one-year successor to Bucco at a special convention on Thursday, Nov. 21, at the County College of Morris at 7 pm, according to the Randolph Reporter.
Bucco won re-election to his Assembly seat last week, even though he already had been appointed to the state Senate seat held by his father, Tony Bucco, who died in September. The junior Bucco said it was too late by then to remove his name from the Assembly ballot.
Asked why she wants to serve in the Assembly, Deeb texted MorristownGreen.com: “Why not?!”
Others reportedly interested in Bucco’s Assembly seat include Mendham resident Aura Dunn, who ran the Morristown office of former Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11th Dist.), and Randolph attorney John Barbarula, the Assistant Morris County Counsel.
Dunn and Barbarula ran unsuccessfully in the GOP June primary for the Assembly. Both attended a League of Women Voters 25th District candidates forum last month in Morristown, where Bucco and running mate Brian Bergen, a Denville councilman, squared off against Democrats Lisa Bhimani of Mendham and Darcy Draeger of Chester.
Bucco and Bergen both prevailed on Election Day. But the Democrats won Deeb’s ward; she blamed their “coattails” for her council defeat by Mayer, a volunteer on Morristown’s Shade Tree Commission.
“I had a rocky start,” she also acknowledged in a prior posting. In April, Deeb said she would not seek a fourth council term.
At the time, she cited the passing of loved ones, anger over neighbors’ signing her opponent’s petition, and a desire to devote herself to raising Seeing Eye puppies. However, she also held out the possibility of seeking higher office.
When Deeb changed her mind about another council run, she garnered enough petition signatures of her own to land a place on last Tuesday’s ballot.
The former mayoral- and county freeholder candidate was the town council’s only Republican. Councilman Robert Iannaccone switched from Republican to Independent to win a second term last week in Morristown’s First Ward.
Whoever is appointed to Bucco’s Assembly seat will have to defend it in the 2020 primary and general election.