Princeton Democrats endorse Assemblyman Dan Benson for County Executive

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Mercer County Democratic Committee convention is scheduled for March 5

The Princeton Community Democratic Organization has thrown its endorsement weight behind state Assemblyman Dan Benson (D-14) for Mercer County Executive over longtime incumbent Brian Hughes for the party’s nomination.

Assemblyman Dan Benson

Benson, who lives in Hamilton Township, received 76% of the votes at the Princeton Community Democratic Organization’s (PCDO) Feb. 23 endorsement meeting. Hughes, who lives in Princeton, received 24% of the votes. The meeting was held at The Jewish Center of Princeton.

Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes

Benson and Hughes will seek the county’ Democratic Party’s nomination for the executive role. Hughes has served five terms in the county’s top elected post. He was elected in 2004.

The PCDO’s annual endorsement meeting occurred 10 days before the scheduled Mercer County Democratic Committee’s March 5 convention. The convention awards the party’s official candidate endorsements for county, state and federal offices.

PCDO members also endorsed incumbent Princeton Council members David Cohen and Leticia Fraga for Princeton Council. Candidates for the state Assembly and state Senate in Legislative District 16, the Mercer County Board of County Commissioners, and the Mercer County sheriff were also endorsed.

The candidates for municipal, county and state offices presented prepared statements and fielded questions from PCDO members, but the contested race for Mercer County Executive drew the most questions, officials said.

Benson’s candidacy was endorsed by the Princeton Mayor Mark Freda and the Princeton Council. He also gained the support of current and former elected officials and party leaders from all 12 municipalities in Mercer County, according to the Benson campaign.

Six of the seven members of the Mercer County Board of County Commissioners have endorsed Benson, the Benson campaign said. The County Commissioners work with the Mercer County Executive.

Benson picked up endorsements from several unions. He also was endorsed by the three Democratic state lawmakers in Legislative District 16 and state Sen. Linda Greenstein of Legislative District 14, according to Benson’s campaign.

Legislative District 16 includes Princeton, and Legislative District 14 includes Hamilton Township.

Hughes was endorsed by former Princeton Councilwomen Jo Butler and Jenny Crumiller and former Princeton Democratic Municipal Chair Scotia MacRae, according to published reports at www.newjerseyglobe.com.

The mayors of the City of Trenton, Ewing Township and Hopewell Borough support Hughes. Several current and former elected officials from Ewing, Hamilton and Lawrence townships also signed on to back him, according to www.newjerseyglobe.com.