PARSIPPANY — The team of “Parsippany First,” Dr. Louis Valori for Mayor, Justin Musella, and Gary Martin for Township Council, held a kick-off event on Thursday, April 22 at Elmas Turkish and Mediterranean Cuisine.
0The “Parsippany First” team is being challenged by Former Mayor James Barberio, Board of Education members Frank Neglia and Deborah Orme. Neglia and Orme are seeking the Republican Council bid along with former Parsippany-Troy Hills Council Vice President Robert Peluso.
The winner in the Primary Election to be held on Tuesday, June 8 will challenge Mayor Michael Soriano and his Council candidates Judy Hernandez and Cori Herbig in the General Election on Tuesday, November 2.
Barberio, who lost to Democratic incumbent Michael Soriano in 2017, is seeking his old seat. So is former Council Vice President Robert Peluso, who lost his primary bid to unseat Barberio the same year.
Justin Musella opened his speech to a sold-out crowd (unfortunately due to COVID-19 restrictions there was a limit on the number of guests) “I’m overwhelmed and deeply humbled at the outpouring of support I’ve witnessed tonight. We’re gathered here tonight for our kick-off. I am positive we will be gathered again on June 8 when we celebrate our primary victory! I greatly appreciate the unwavering support and your new friendships from all I’ve spoken to.”
“We’ve been working hard at this for some time now, and having spoken to hundreds of residents, I know three things to be true:
- People are tired of politics as usual. They want fighters who advocate for our residents and township as a whole, not just the connected special interest groups and entrenched individuals.
- The high hopes people had for the administration of four years ago have been shattered since Mayor Soriano’s failed policies are directly responsible for Parsippany’s problems of today.
- Residents want to see a fundamental change on Township Council with new blood, bold ideas, and innovative ways of thinking as to how we can better serve the public.”
We will stand up for what we believe will improve the Township at large and bring discipline and efficiency back to municipal government. And we aren’t waiting to be elected to serve; we are already raising awareness that residents have a clear option to re-establish Parsippany to be the great place it once was to live, play, and do business.
Gary Martin ticked off some of his past heroes – Douglas MacArthur, JFK, Frank Sinatra. But now, he said, his only heroes are the people he wants to represent.
Martin said he is a former Democrat, which explains the JFK reference, and that it was the late Dean Gallo who convinced him to become a Republican.
Whatever happens in the June 8 primary, Valori said he will support the Republican ticket this fall. As he said, “This town really needs some major changes.”
Current Council members Janice McCarthy and Emily Peterson declined to run for reelection. Soriano is running unopposed for reelection in the Democratic primary with new council candidates Cori Herbig and Judy Hernandez. Herbig and Hernandez ran unsuccessfully for Township Council in the 2019 election.