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Democratic Candidates Unite Over Empanadas at Lively Picnic Event

PARSIPPANY — On a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon in Parsippany, the bustling Veteran Park became the vibrant setting for a lively picnic event that brought together the Democratic candidates and the local community. The aroma of freshly cooked empanadas filled the air, enticing participants and passersby to join the festivities.

Matt Clarkin served as the Master of Ceremonies (MC) during the gathering at Veterans Park.

Judy Hernandez, Bernard Clarkin, and Matt Kavanagh, the Democratic candidates running for Parsippany Council, eagerly mingled with the diverse crowd at the park. Excitement and camaraderie were palpable as people from different walks of life engaged in conversations and shared their hopes and aspirations for the community.

Amalia Duarte, Chair of the Morris County Democratic Committee, was seen holding a door hanger from the Hernandez, Kavanagh, Clarkin campaign while addressing the diverse crowd at Veterans Park.

Also joining were Jonathan Sackett for Morris County Commissioner; John Von Achen and Walter Mielarczyk for Assembly, Caroline O’Brien for Morris County Clerk and Amalia Duarte Chair of Morris County Democratic Committee.

The event’s main attraction, the empanadas, was a delightful conversation starter. Attendees flocked to the food truck, indulging in the mouthwatering variety of empanadas offered. As they savored the delicious treats, conversations flowed effortlessly, breaking down barriers and creating a sense of unity among all present.

John Von Achen, a candidate running for Assembly in Morris County, was also present at the gathering at Veterans Park.
Jonathan Sackett, who is running for the position of Morris County Commissioner, was among the attendees at the event at Veterans Park.
Caroline O’Brien, who is running for the position of Morris County Clerk, was also present at the Veterans Park gathering.

With her warm and approachable demeanor, Judy Hernandez connected effortlessly with the residents, listening attentively to their concerns and promising to advocate for their needs strongly.  Matt Kavanagh, known for his passion for community development, discussed his vision for a more sustainable and inclusive Parsippany. Bernard Clarkin, a charismatic and experienced leader, shared his ideas on enhancing education and public services.

Judy Hernandez, a Parsippany-Troy Hills Council candidate, took the stage to address the audience during the gathering at Veterans Park.

“Hope is contagious. I want to communicate the hope that if every one of us is inspired to act collectively, we can positively impact our future,” said Hernandez.

Judy Hernandez, a respected community member with a strong service track record, was gearing up for a significant role in the town’s future. Having lived in Parsippany for 24 years, she had already left a positive impact through her involvement on the Parsippany Planning Board, the Environmental Advisory Committee, co-founder and co-leader of the Parsippany Green Team, and the board for the Parsippany Child Day Care Center. Her experience and dedication made her a formidable candidate for the upcoming council elections.

Bernard Clark, another candidate for the Parsippany-Troy Hills Council, was also part of the gathering at Veterans Park.

Another candidate, Bernard Clark, had deep roots in Parsippany, having called it home for 35 years. Although new to township politics, he possessed valuable expertise from running his small business for the past decade. As recognized by the election committee, his financial acumen and budgeting experience promised to be assets in managing the town’s affairs effectively.

Bernard Clarkin said, “Our team will win this council election! Win it by working harder and having a much better message than our opponents as we start knocking on doors in Parsippany this week. There will be no more massive 18% municipal tax increases or anything like that. I promise to bring my extensive financial background to the council to challenge the mayor and improve transparency. The green energy initiatives we will fight for will save the township money while improving our environment. I ask that you help us win by volunteering any time you can spare to help our campaign and get out the voters.”

Matt Kavanagh, a candidate for the Parsippany-Troy Hills Council, also addressed the crowd during the gathering at Veterans Park.

Lastly, Matt Kavanagh, with a decade-long residence in Parsippany, was eager to contribute his passion for sustainability and environmental consciousness to the council. He had already demonstrated leadership as the co-founder and co-leader of the Parsippany Green Team. He held a significant role as the chief operating officer of an energy services company. His experience in the energy sector made him an advocate for smart and eco-friendly policies, making him an appealing choice for voters concerned about the town’s future. Matt’s qualifications extended beyond his role as the co-leader of the Parsippany Green Team and chief operating officer of an energy services company. His experience includes managing large corporate budgets similar in scale to that of Parsippany’s municipal budget. This additional expertise positioned him well to address the financial complexities and challenges the town might face, gaining further support from voters who valued his comprehensive skill set.

“A sustainable community is environmentally conscious, but also diverse, resilient, responsible with resources, financially savvy, and plans for the long run. That is absent in our township government right now, so I’ll focus on this for Parsippany’s long-term future,” commented Matt.

Parsippany-Troy Hills Former Council Member Janice McCarthy and John Von Achen
Frank L. Cahill
Frank L. Cahill
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President of Kiwanis Club of Tri-Town and Chairman of Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board.
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