Rift Among Scotch Plains and Fanwood Democrats Over County Chairmanship

Former Scotch Plains Mayor Kevin Glover, pictured here with Colleen Mahr in a photo promoting NJ Transit's one-seat service, wants this photo removed from Mahr's campaign video.
Freeholder Al Mirabella (third from left) is calling on Colleen Mahr to remove this photo from her UCDC campaign video
Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr is the acting chair of the Union County Democratic Committee,
State Senator Nick Scutari is vying for the position of Union County Democratic Committee chair.
Top to bottom: Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr, Senator Nick Scutari, and Anthony Salters of Hillside at Plainfield's PDCC meeting Credits: Jennifer Popper

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Union County Freeholders Christopher Hudak and Al Mirabella joined former Scotch Plains Mayor Kevin Glover in calling on Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr, acting Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee (UCDC), to remove their images from her new campaign video.  

Hudak, who lives in Linden, Mirabella, who lives in Fanwood, and Glover, who lost his bid for reelection to Republican Al Smith in November 2016, issued a joint statement:

UCDC Candidate Colleen Mahr did not get our authorization to use our images in her video. Her actions placing our images in her video creates the misperception that we are endorsing her candidacy for UCDC Chair. We are not. We are supporting Nick Scutari for Chair, and we call upon her and her campaign to immediately remove our images.

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In the video, Glover, then Mayor of Scotch Plains, is pictured with Colleen Mahr boarding a one-seat NJ Transit train headed toward New York City. Mirabella was pictured with Mahr and a group of developers at the groundbreaking of the Station Square development in downtown Fanwood.

Mahr responded: “The statement from Scutari's friends is exactly why Wednesday’s vote for UCDC Chair is so important. After getting the first one-seat train for Union County residents, breaking ground on a new development that was 10 years in the making for Fanwood, and hosting a fundraiser for Town Council candidates who later won their elections in Fanwood, I couldn't be prouder of the work I've done as mayor, vice chair of UCDC, and as a founding member of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition."

"My pride in this work is rooted in all we’ve accomplished for the residents of Union County, and this is what I remain focused on. Facing the issues head on, fighting for our Democratic principles, mentoring new candidates to lead our communities, building the future of our Party and representing our 21 municipalities well," Mahr said. "This is what I was elected to do. Working in service to others isn’t about one person, it’s about all of us coming together for a common good and making it happen. The residents of Union County expect and deserve more of these results, and I will keep delivering them."

Kevin Glover, who has kept a low profile on the local political scene since leaving office, said his decision to issue the statement with Hudak and Mirabella was based on his support for Senator Scutari.

"I'm disappointed in Mayor Mahr. She has been around long enough to know to ask me if she could use my photo for an endorsement," Glover said in a phone interview. "I have a clear preference for county chair: Nick Scutari. Just like Jerry Green, he is a man of the people."

Al Mirabella could not be reached for comment.  

Colleen Mahr took over as acting chair of the UCDC following Jerry Green's announcement that he was stepping down for health reasons. She faces a battle from State Senator Nick Scutari, who received Green's endorsement for the position, and Anthony Salters, chairman of the Hillside Democratic Committee. The vote will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 21, at the Gran Centurions in Clark.

Over the past few weeks, both Mahr and Scutari have touted their endorsers. Recently, Mahr picked up the support of Westfield Mayor Shelly Brindle and U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman. Scutari this week announced that he had gained the endorsement of Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage.

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