Sherrill and Malinowski back Duarte for Morris Democratic County presidency

The two Democrats representing Morris County in the United States House of Representatives are taking sides in the race to replace Chip Robinson as Democratic county president.

Representatives Mikie Sherill (D-Montclair) and Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) endorsed Amalia Duarte in a special campaign bid scheduled for the week of May 9.

“Amalia knows the importance of focusing on local issues, is accessible to residents and works to bring people together. She is already training the next generation of leaders and growing our bench in Morris County as MCDC Elected Caucus Chair,” Sherill and Malinowski said in a statement Monday. “Her commitment to supporting a diverse slate of candidates at all levels, increasing fundraising and her strategic vision make her the right candidate for this position.”

The endorsement of Duarte, who is seeking to become the first woman and first Latina to lead the Morris Democratic organization, could preempt another candidacy.

Duarte entered the race on Monday. Parsippany Democratic City Chairman Matthew Clarkin has also filed a letter of intent to preserve the opportunity to run, but has yet to make a final decision on whether to enter the race.

Robinson announced his resignation on Friday after top Democrats at the federal, state and local levels pushed for a leadership change. Vice President Robin Gurin has also resigned, and the party’s political director, Eliot Schneier, is no longer employed by Democrats in Morris County.

“Amalia knows how to win tough races,” said Sherrill and Malinowski, who are seeking re-election this year. “We look forward to continuing our work with MCDC to make Morris County blue.”