PARSIPPANY – On Sunday, February 12, Parsippany resident Michael Soriano announced his candidacy for Mayor. Two-term Republican Mayor James Barberio’s term is up December 31, 2017.
Currently Parsippany has Republican mayor and a council that has not had a Democratic member since Councilman Jonathan Nelson lost his mayoral bid against Barberio in 2013. Nelson was the first democrat to sit on the Council in over 25 years.
Council President Louis Valori and Council Vice President Robert Peluso terms end on December 31, 2017 and both are up for re-election.
In announcing his candidacy, “I’m running for one reason, to clean up Parsippany,” said Soriano. “When it comes to these petty feuds that have been going on in town hall that, for awhile, have made Parsippany so interesting to the press, I’ll tell you this, and I’ll paraphrase a friend of mine, I want to make Parsippany boring again.”
Soriano said I am going to break it down like this “I am going to demand a dollar worth of value for every dollar worth of tax money.”
Democrats have tightened the voter-registration gap in Morris County’s largest municipality, but Republicans still lead by a margin of about 11,000 to 9,000, according to Morris County Democratic Committee Chairman Chip Robinson.
“The Democratic turnout is usually down in odd, years, but because of Democratic frustration with Trump and Christie, we think Democratic turnout is going to be equivalent or higher than Republican turnout in 2017,” Robinson said.
Robinson also pointed out that despite the Republican voter advantage, Hillary Clinton won the 2016 presidential vote in Parsippany over Trump, and Barack Obama won the township twice.
“A lot of you may not know this, but since 1966, every mayor except for two were Democrats in this town,” said Robinson. “One of those two Republicans (Frank Priore) resigned. And the other is going to be defeated in about 10 or 11 months.”
Robinson continued to discuss voter demographics, but concluded by saying the most important reason he feels his party can “take Parsippany back” is because “we have an exceptional candidate for Mayor. One of the things I love about our candidate is that he treats everyone like brothers and sisters. He’s a union member, so it makes sense he would do that.”
Parsippany Democratic Chairman Matt Clarkin said: “[Michael Soriano] is someone who has served as a mentor to countless youth in his profession and in this Township, myself included. I know that this is the next step for him in a life defined by service to others.”
Former Mayor Mimi Letts, Former Councilman Jonathan Nelson, Morris County Democratic Chairman Chip Robinson and Parsippany Democratic Chairman Matt Clarkin were among the many supporters who came out on this cold, rainy, icy day.
Soriano, 49, was born on a military base in Fort Gordon, Georgia to Ramon and Ada Soriano in 1967. He was raised in Queens, New York. He earned his Associate’s degree in Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
He is also an Eagle Scout.
He moved to Parsippany in 2002 and married Jennifer DeMaio the same year, and has one daughter, Eleanor. He is an Electrician by trade, currently working as a foreman and a member of IBEW Local 3. He also belongs to Veterans of Foreign Wars Community Service Award, Post 536 and Vigil Honor Order of the Arrow.
The primary will be held on Tuesday, June 6. Polls will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
You are eligible to vote if you are a citizen of the United States, are a Morris County resident 30 days before the election. You can register is you are at least 17 years of age, but cannot vote until the age of 18. You can not be incarcerated, on parole or on probation due to a felony conviction.
If you don’t know if you are a registered voter, you can click here to find out.
If you are not a registered voter, you can fill out the application form (click here), and mail a completed form to Morris County Board of Elections, Post Office Box 9000, Morristown, New Jersey 07960. You must register 21 days prior to the election which you wish to vote. Your registration will remain valid, as long as you do not move out of Morris County.
Once you are registered you will receive a ballot in the mail. If you need to find out where you go to vote, click here.
Parsippany Focus has reached out to all candidates that have filed their registrations, asking when and where they are announcing. Parsippany Focus will give equal coverage to all candidates running for office. Any candidate can contact us by sending an email by clicking here.