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Democrats endorse Harris, Mascia in Bernards Township

BERNARDS TWP. – The Bernards Township Democratic Committee (BTDC) Monday night endorsed Joan B. Harris and Robert J. Mascia to run for two, three-year seats on the Township Committee.

Harris, a resident of Watchung Drive, and Mascia, of North Maple Avenue, will run on the Democratic line in the November election.
The Republican Municipal Committee last week endorsed John Surano of Lurline Drive and Joseph Esposito of High Hill Court for the two seats.

The deadline to file for the June 5 primaries is 4 p.m. Monday, April 2.
The two seats are now held by Republicans John Malay and Carolyn Gaziano who are not seeking re-election this fall. “There is unrest in Bernards Township and residents want change,” said BTDC Chair Nancy D’Andrea in a press release. “They want representatives who will listen to growing concerns about land use and development, solutions to address the mental health and opioid addiction epidemic, and proactive planning for severe weather damage and power shortages. They want representatives who will listen to suggestions and be transparent with township business. “Our reputation as a tight-knit community has suffered as we continue to question the judgment of our Township Committee. Joan Harris and Robert Mascia will serve in the best interest of the people of Bernards Township. Their combined business, financial and community experience coupled with integrity and compassion make Harris and Mascia exceptional candidates to serve.’’

Harris fell 86 votes short of Republican Mayor John Carpenter in a tight race for Township Committee last November. She continues to serve on the township’s Board of Health and the Municipal Alliance Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse.
On the Municipal Alliance, Harris is the chair of the Stigma-Free Initiative which seeks to eradicate the stigma associated with mental health illnesses and substance-abuse disorders. She is an experienced civil trial attorney and former assistant prosecutor.
Presently, she manages a claims unit for Coverys, a professional liabilities insurer. Harris has raised her four children in the township and will see her youngest son graduate from Ridge High School this year. “I am excited to run again for Township Committee,’’ she said. “I believe it’s time to rely upon the broader collective wisdom of our community. My desire is not only to serve, but to model for our children something they have not witnessed in the past several years: elected representatives from different parties working together to find common ground for the good of their community.”

Mascia has served on the Bernards Township Chamber of Commerce and is the founder and owner of Green Ridge Wealth Planning in Bedminster, a financial planning and business consulting firm. “I know what it takes to run a business in small-town America, not just my own but in managing my clients,” Mascia said. “I understand how zoning, building, and town planning works for both residential and commercial development, and how to make every dollar count.” Mascia is also a volunteer coach for Bernards Township recreational T-ball, baseball, flag football and travel baseball. Mascia and his wife, Brooke, have been raising their young family in Bernards Township for eight years.

For more information about the BTDC, visit

Paid for by the Harris & Mascia for Bernards Township Committee, P.O. Box 75, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920-0075.
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