Six candidates vie for Bucco’s Assembly Seat

Senator Anthony M. Bucco taking the oath of office during a session of the New Jersey Senate on October 24, 2019

MORRIS COUNTY — Six candidates submitted their names to be included in the special election to elect a successor to the Assembly seat vacated by Anthony Bucco in Legislative District 25.

The candidates are (alphabetical order): John Barbarula, Randolph; Alison Deeb, Morristown; Aura Dunn, Mendham Borough; Sarah Neibart, Mendham Township; Robert J. (“Bob”) Olejar, Randolph and Al Ribeiro, Bernardsville.

The convention will be held on Thursday, November 21 at The County College of Morris, Davidson Room, Student Community Center, Building 1.

Registration begins at 6:00 p.m. and the Meeting Commences at 7:00 p.m.

Space is Limited. Only County Committee from Legislative District 25, Candidates for Vacant Assembly Seat, Elected Officials from Legislative District 25, Executive Board members from Morris and Somerset Republican Committees or people in possession of a pass from MCRC will be permitted. Photo Id’s will be required to vote.

In an email sent earlier this week to committee members, Morris County Republican Committee Chair Ronald DeFilippis temporarily stepped down on Friday, November 8.

Laura Marie Ali, publisher of TapInto Parsippany and former Chatham Township Committee member, will serve as acting chair. Bucco, who resides in Boonton, was named to fill the Senate seat that was occupied by his late father Anthony R. Bucco, who passed on September 16. He was sworn into the Senate on October 24, and resigned his Assembly seat, as was required by law, shortly before he was sworn in at the Statehouse.

The 25th district includes Boonton Town, Boonton Township, Chester Borough, Chester Township, Denville Township, Dover Town, Mendham Borough, Mendham Township, Mine Hill Township, Morris Township, Morristown, Mount Arlington Borough, Mountain Lakes Borough, Netcong Borough, Randolph Township, Rockaway Borough, Roxbury Township, Victory Gardens Borough, Washington Township and Wharton Borough; and Bernardsville in Somerset County.

Statement from John Barbarula, Randolph

John Barbarula

John Barbarula, a successful business owner and tenacious attorney. Assembly for district 25.

Why should you vote for me over anyone else? Because I am the one person who will work tirelessly, 24/7 for YOU, the taxpayers of this great state and constituents of District 25. I am a fighter. By profession and by character. I fight for what’s right and believe that what Governor Murphy and the current Trenton legislators are doing, is completely wrong. I am seeking this seat to fulfill my passion and commitment to public service. I am a third generation New Jersian and a 25 year resident of the 25th District. By profession, I am an attorney since 1977, owning his own office in Butter. I have been a Special County Counsel for 21 years. I’ve been married for 35 years to Joan (Carton) Barbarula and have two grown children, Melanie and Michael. I am the right person at the right time for this Assembly seat. I have for 40 years supported Republicans from mayors to senators in their campaigns and office because I believe New Jersey is best represented by Republicans and with the right effort, we can get our great state back on track to being financially solvent. We need to create a quality of life that is affordable for our families so that our children and grandchildren can make their life here and not move away.

Through my practice I have appeared before almost all of New Jersey’s boards, agencies and departments. I have worked with Democrats, Republicans and independent voters in numerous areas in my business.

When I go to Trenton I will look to making New Jersey livable again by taking the following steps:
●Conduct comprehensive reviews of the numerous agencies and departments, with an eye towards illation or merger
●Review rules and regulations for current relevance and duplications
●Introduce a 2.5% budget wide spending cut
●Cast ‘NO’ votes on all new proposed taxes
●Move to remove New Jersey from sanctuary status
●Support our President and his America First Agenda

Statement from Alison Deeb:

Alison Deeb

Alison is the strongest candidate because:
•She views her public service as a calling
•She is a moderate Republican and a fiscal conservative
•She is a committed environmentalist
•She is electable and has a proven record of bipartisan leadership
•She fundamentally believes in limited government, lower taxes and less spending
•Her one and only job will be in the State Assembly
•She will serve all citizens of the 25th district

Her Accomplishments
•Holds a Masters of Public Administration degree from George Washington University
•Has 25+ years of public and private sector professional experience; understands both business and government
•As a Councilwoman in the Town of Morristown, she ramrodded numerous projects for the Town in the past 12 years and will bring this energy and can-do attitude to Trenton
•Starting in 2014, she added Financial Trend Analysis to fiscal year budgets, allowing the Town to track financial trends
•Doubled the size of Foote’s Pond Park in Morristown and created the first pocket parkin Morristown in 50 years
•Spearheaded the off-leash dog park movement in Morris County and beyond

Statement from Aura Dunn, Mendham Borough

Aura Dunn

A Republican Willing to Fight for you in Trenton! Control Taxes & Spending; Safer Schools; Fairness in School Funding Formula; Fight the Opioid Epidemic

Professional Experience:
• U.S. House of Representatives — District Director and Domestic Policy Advisor, Veterans’ Affairs Committee
• U.S. Senate — Appropriations Committee Budget Analyst on Education Policy
• Vice President, Sesame Workshop, MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD, and Jumpstart for Young Children
• Community Liaison and Compliance Officer for Au Pair in America
• President, AKD Government Relations
• Master of Public Administration (MPA), the George Washington University
• Mediation Certificate, New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators

Community Service:
• Morris County Habitat for Humanity Board Member
• Morris County Mental Health Addictions Services Advisory Board
• Planning Board, Borough of Mendham
• Fresh Air Fund, Host Family (10 years)
• Jersey Battered Women’s Service Crisis Response Team (Mendham Police Department)
• Religious Education Teacher (9 years)
• Founder of “Boogey for Books” Library Fundraiser
• Mendham Public Community Access Television Board
• Former Delegate, County Council of Parent Teacher Associations
• Board Member, Alternative House for Abused and Homeless Children’s Refuge

Congressman Rodney P. Frelinghuysen
Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce, LD 26
Mayor Mary Jane Canose,Bernardsville
Mayor Janet Hoven, Chester Borough
Mayor Marcia Asdal, Chester Township
Mayor Chris Glassner, Mendham Borough
Mayor Matt Murello, Washington Township
Mayor Sam Morris, Mine Hill
(June 2019) N.J. Hills Media Group: “Vote Aura Dunn for Assembly; her platform has all the right choices.”

Statement from Sarah Neibart, Mendham Township

Sarah Neibart

Sarah Neibart is a 26-year resident of Legislative District 25. Sarah has deep roots in this community, growing up in Morris Township and attending Morristown High School. Sarah moved to Mendham Township in 2016 where she currently serves as the Deputy Mayor. In this role, Sarah has focused on increasing shared services opportunities with neighboring municipalities and fighting property tax increases for all of her residents. Additionally, Sarah serves as a Board Member for Daytop NJ, Morris County Arts, and the Spring Street Community Development Corporation.

Sarah is leading the fight against the growing problems posed by excessive taxes. In 2017, Sarah founded Citizens for Accountable Taxation (CAT), an organization that seeks to educate New Jersey residents on our highest-in-the-nation property taxes and the negative impact that these taxes have on residents and businesses across the State. CAT’s current campaign is Fair Property Taxes for all New Jersey (click here). Sarah is also a Republican political and public affairs professional. She worked as Deputy Campaign Manager for Bob Hugin’s Campaign for the United State Senate. Before that, she served as the Statewide Political Director for Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadgano’s Campaign for Governor. In 2016, Sarah was the Campaign Manager for Scott Garrett for Congress and the National Ballot Access Director for the Chris Christie for President Campaign. In March 2018, Sarah entered public service when she was appointed to the Mendham Township Committee. In November 2018, Sarah was re-elected and was voted Deputy Mayor by her colleagues in January 2019. While on Township Committee, Sarah has served as the liaison to many committees. Sarah was integral in the formation of the Ad Hoc Shared Services Committee by leveraging her relationships with elected officials in neighboring towns.

During her time in elected office, Sarah has voted against every proposed tax increase and has been an avid fighter for ensuring affordability for our middle class families. Sarah has learned the hardships and red tape that municipalities and businesses statewide face under this liberal Democratic administration. With people of all ages fleeing New Jersey in record numbers, Sarah will be a steadfast voice against bad economic policies, outrageous overdevelopment of our communities, and will look to repair the school funding formula that contributes to our highest-in-the-nation property taxes. The Democrats are coming for this district in 2020 and Sarah understands how important it is to win. LD25 is located in the most expensive media market in the country and we need a candidate who is able to compete against the hundreds of thousands of dollars that the Democrats will pour into this district. Sarah has financially supported Republicans up and down the State for many years and is committed to doing whatever it takes to strengthen the Republican Party in LD25 and beyond. She has a vast fundraising network and is prepared to put her personal money into this race to retain this incredibly important seat. Now, more than ever, we need checks and balances against the Murphy Administration’s radical agenda that is crushing our families and ruining our communities. Sarah will be a steadfast voice against these irresponsible policies and will consistently fight for a better way.

Statement from Robert J. (“Bob”) Olejar, Randolph

Robert J. (“Bob”) Olejar
  • Self-employed lawyer and forensic accountant who has appeared in court as attorney of record at both plaintiffs and defense table, and on the witness stand as an expert in forensic accounting, resulting in a unique perspective on all sides of an issue.
  • Successful criminal defense in U.S. District Court and Circuit Court of Appeals as member of Federal Criminal Justice Act Panel of Defense Attorneys.
  • More than 20 years’ service as court-appointed Receiver and Forensic Accountant to the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, General Equity, in Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic Counties.
  • Proven managerial skills gained from planning and supervising forensic accounting engagements for “Big Four” accounting firm, managing entities in receivership, including prosecuting and defending legal actions on their behalf.


▪ Senior Accountant: Audit Practice
▪ Deloitte & Touche ▪ Senior Manager: Dispute Consulting (Forensic Accounting)
▪ Assistant Prosecutor: Bergen County

Licenses and Certifications
▪ Attorney and Counsellor at Law (New Jersey and New York)
▪ Certified Public Accountant (New Jersey)
▪ Certified Fraud Examiner (International)
▪ Barrister (England and Wales)
▪ Seton Hall University School of Law
▪ Montclair State College
▪ Residency:Lifelong resident of New Jersey
▪ Randolph Township resident since 1986 (Former Randolph Republican Club Member)
▪ Family:Wife: Linda, Attorney
▪ Daughter: Natasha, Randolph High School Class of 2010, Syracuse University 2014
▪ 1st Generation American: Both parents from former Czechoslovakia

Military and Other:
▪ A former U.S. Marine, supports the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, a charity which provides family aid and a $35K bond to each child of a fallen Marine or Federal law enforcement officer. (Since 1995, MCLEF has raised and distributed more than $78 million to 4177 recipients.)
▪ New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, Editorial Board, six years
▪ Author: Six professional articles, three of which published in New Jersey

Statement from Al Ribeiro, Bernardsville

Al Ribeiro

Why I’m Running

Through my time in the private sector, I have earned a reputation as someone who brings people together to find solutions to challenging problems. Trenton continues to make it a challenge to live or work here with an unfavorable tax and economic climate. I have always led by example to make things better in my community. Therefore, I am seeking the 25th Assembly seat to find bold solutions to these and other challenges.

Top Policy Priorities
● Sensible, transparent government that balances budgets, reduces costs and lowers debt
● Lowering property and income taxes
● Growing economic opportunities for all; attracting people and businesses to New Jersey

About Me
Both growing up in New Jersey, my wife and I settled in Bernardsville a few years ago. I have worked in the biopharma sector for over ten years, where the team I am part of has helped launch breakthrough cancer treatments, and we work tirelessly to ensure patients have access to these medicines.

Previously, I worked on GOP campaigns throughout the country, including on Senator McCain’s and Mayor Giuliani’s Presidential campaigns. I have an MBA from Georgetown University and B.A. from The College of New Jersey, and serve on Somerset County’s Open Space Advisory Committee