Morris County freeholder incumbent John Cesaro and newcomer to the election process Aura Dunn are joining forces as a team to face off against a crowded field of Republicans. All are vying in the upcoming primaries for three spots on the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders. The outcome of the June 5 primary will determine who will fill the three GOP positions on the November ballot.

Cesaro and Dunn say they complement each other and present a strong team for the citizens of Morris County. Both hold advanced degrees and have a combined 40 years in public service. Cesaro has a law degree from Quinnipiac University; Dunn has a Master of Public Administration degree from George Washington University and a New Jersey certificate in mediation.

The GOP field of freeholder candidates now also includes a team of two, instead of another threesome, since former freeholder William Lyon reportedly withdrew his name from the race. As of now, freeholder incumbent Deborah Smith of Denville and former freeholder John Krickus of Washington Township will likely run as a team. Meanwhile, former Parsippany councilman Robert Peluso will also be in the running.


Together, Cesaro and Dunn say if elected they will “uphold the ideals of fiscal responsibility, equal opportunity, and individual freedom” in the face of a changing Morris County. The candidates add they intend to advance a three-point plan: promote economic growth, improve quality of life, and uphold sound fiscal management.

As freeholder liaison to the Department of Public Works, Cesaro is currently responsible for ensuring that the county continues its policy of paving 25-30 miles of road per year and maintains its strong infrastructure. “Last year, the county paved 27.4 miles of road, performed work on eight bridges, and made improvements to intersections and railroads,” Cesaro tells The Jefferson Chronicle.

Dunn worked for former Senator Arlen Specter for the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, where she oversaw implementation of a $40 billion education appropriation. She is currently the director of New Jersey’s 11th congressional district. With 23 years on the national policy stage, Dunn says she would like to bring her experience and knowledge to the freeholder board and offer a “fresh perspective.

“My experience in effectively negotiating multi-billion-dollar appropriations and consistently resolving constituent requests has given me the necessary tools to serve the diverse needs of our Morris County residents,” Dunn told The Chronicle.

Both candidates are active members of their communities. Cesaro and his wife of 13 years are raising two young sons in Parsippany. He is a parishioner at St. Christopher Church in Parsippany. Dunn and her husband of 21 years have two teenage daughters and an 11-year-old son. They live in Mendham Borough and are active members of St. Joseph Church in Mendham.

Never miss a headline!

Sign up to have The Jefferson Chronicle emails/breaking alerts and Print Edition sent free to your inbox. Subscribe >>