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Caldwell Republicans Announce Mayor, Council Candidates

Caldwell’s Mayor Ann Dassing will seek a second term as mayor, and Caldwell residents, Kris Brown and John Cascarano will run for Caldwell Council.

Dassing, Brown, Cascarano/Photos provided
Dassing, Brown, Cascarano/Photos provided

Submitted by Caldwell Republicans

Joseph DeFuria, Chairman of the Caldwell Republican Party, today, announced Caldwell’s Mayor Ann Dassing, will seek a second term as Mayor, and Caldwell residents, Kris Brown and John Cascarano will run for Caldwell Council.

"Mayor Dassing has worked tirelessly for the people of Caldwell and under her Administration, the tax rate has been stabilized to a 1 percent average over the past five years, aging infrastructure has been addressed and mutually-beneficial shared services contracts for police dispatch, and recreation services were negotiated.  Open space and the environment continue to be high priorities and the Borough will purchase a property on Personnette Street later this year and implement a Complete Streets ordinance to make a more walk able downtown and encourage residents to walk, and bike in their town.  We look forward to communicating many other initiatives that have been brought forth for our residents, by our hard working Mayor during her first term, ” informed DeFuria.

About Council Candidate Kris Brown

Caldwell Council candidate, Kris Brown, grew up in West Caldwell and graduated from James Caldwell High School.  He attended Villanova University and achieved a BA in Geography in 1995 and received his Masters of Geographical Information Systems from the University of Edinburgh in 1996. His business career includes 18 years of experience managing information technology functions with an emphasis on GIS analysis, system implementation and business development.  He is currently  employed by MSS Services as and Operations Manager with a focus in GIS/United State Military Academy and as such, manages all GIS/CAD/BIM operations at the US Military Academy including database and website design, GIS Data creation and standardization and total system compliancy. 

Kris has always had a keen interest in soccer and since 2007, could be seen on the fields as a Coach and a mentor for many of Caldwell-West Caldwell’s budding athletes. Since 2009 he served as the team’s Clinical Coordinator and he is currently the Soccer Club President, a position he has held since 2013.  He has also volunteered his time over the more recent years as a Recreation Coach for t-ball and basketball and also coached recreation basketball and baseball back in 1999 and 2000.  He has been a member of the Environmental Commission since 2010 and serves on the Sports/Music Swap committee.

He is married to Karen and has two children, a son, Spencer, age 11 and a daughter, Cassidy who is eight years old.  They both attend Jefferson school.

"I feel very fortunate to have grown up in the Caldwells.  I attended the public schools here and participated in the recreation and sporting programs.   All of these positive experiences lead me to return to Caldwell as an adult to raise my family.  I want my children to have the same opportunities that I had as a child.  It is these sentiments that inspired me to run for our local town council. I am excited at the opportunity to represent my fellow Caldwell residents. I will work to encourage local businesses and downtown, support the mission of our DPW, ensure fiscal responsibility and promote environmentally sound and green initiatives,” Brown said.

About Council Candidate John Cascarano

Candidate for Caldwell Council, John Cascarano graduated magna cum laude from Montclair State University with a BA in Political Science and obtained his Juris Doctor degree from Seton Hall School of Law in 2007.  He has been admitted to the Bar in New Jersey and the District of Columbia.  Over the course of his career to date he has served as Aide to Mayor Joanne Cocchiola of Nutley; Law Clerk for Piro, Zinna, Cifelli, Paris & Genitempo of Nutley; Judicial Clerk for the Hon. Ronald Marmo, Superior Court of NJ, Law Division, Passaic County; Assistant Prosecutor in the Office of the Hudson County Prosecutor; Deputy Chief Counsel for the NJ General Assembly, Republican Caucus; and Assistant Counsel, for the Office of Governor Chris Christie.  From 2012 to the present, John has served as an in-house Attorney for the NJ Turnpike Authority.    He is a member of the Seton Hall Law School Alumni Council, the Borough of Caldwell Open Space Committee, UNICO International, and the Nutley Lawyers Club.  He married his wife Andrea in 2010, and they are expecting their first child.

“As a lifelong Essex County resident, I discovered Caldwell to be the ideal place to purchase a home and start a family.  Now my wife Andrea and I are expecting our first child, and I couldn't be happier to call Caldwell home. I am eager to dedicate myself to the needs of the town and its residents and work hard to keep Caldwell financially efficient, family friendly, attractive to business, and safe for residents and visitors,” stated Cascarano.

About Caldwell Incumbent Mayoral Candidate Ann Dassing

Mayoral candidate, Ann Dassing, is seeking a second term as Mayor of the Borough of Caldwell.  She was elected in 2004 to Caldwell’s Town Council and during her first term on Council, served as Budget Chairman in 2006, and as the Planning Board liaison, where she supported the steep slope ordinance to prevent over development in various areas of the town.  In 2007 she was re-elected to the Caldwell Council, and in 2009, she was nominated as Council President.  She was elected in 2010 as Mayor and over the past four years has set the bar for fiscal responsible budgets, public safety initiatives such as high rise fire safety seminars, and promoting the downtown as a destination for shoppers and diners.  

A person of vision, Ann reinstated the Caldwell Merchants Association in 2007, a chamber-like volunteer organization that is still operating today, bringing the residents Dinner and a Movie, a vibrant website, Art on the Avenue and other unique promotions and offers to bring shoppers and diners to Caldwell.  She is also a founding member of the Caldwell-West Caldwell Education Foundation, a non profit that to date, has given over $100,000 to educational programs in the Caldwell-West Caldwell school system.  In 2012 and 2013, Ann and her committee made up of Caldwell Library Foundation members and friends, raised over $50,000 for the Caldwell Carnegie Library with her signature event, The Mayors’ Legacy for Literacy Gala.

Ann and her Mom and Dad, Jane and Stan Bestys, and sister, Ellen and brother, Jim, moved to Caldwell in 1978.  She graduated from Caldwell College in 1979 with a BA in Art.  She is the founder and President of Front-Page Promotions, Inc. a public relations firm dedicated to helping non-profits tell their story to the community, the media, potential donors and volunteers through creative and cost efficient methods.    She is married to Gene and has two adult children, Gene, III and Katherine.  She is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Caldwell-West Essex and she and her family are members of Notre Dame Church in North Caldwell.

“I am thrilled to have such qualified, energized candidates for Caldwell’s Council.  There is much work left to do in the coming years and we need a Governing Body that has its members engaged and willing to work hard for the things that are going to keep Caldwell the great town that it is today.  I am looking forward to walking the town and talking to our residents in the coming months and I know my running mates will be willing partners in that endeavor,” Dassing stated.

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