Sean Clarkin of Vernon has dropped out of the Democratic Assembly race following an announcement that Gina Trish and Kate Matteson plan to run as a team. They will be competing with Michael Pirog in the June 6 primary.
Trish, a Blairstown resident, and Matteson, who lives in Sparta, hope to replace Republicans Parker Space and Gail Phoebus in the Assembly. Pirog, of Mount Olive, also hopes for an Assembly seat.
None of the hopefuls has held public office before, but all say they are committed to representing Sussex County in what they hope will be a Democratic State House; all have said at one time or another that the current delegation—Phoebus, Space and state Sen. Steve Oroho—don’t legislate in ways that serve the district and its residents.
In announcing his withdrawal from the race, Clarkin said he had entered because Democrats are traditionally underrepresented in elections and often don’t field candidates, but the current batch of candidates has that covered, and he can safely withdraw.
Both Matteson and Trish lived in Stillwater as children and graduated from Kittatinny High School.