The race for the 2013 Township Council Republican primary election is underway.
On Saturday afternoon at Lake Hiawatha Park, Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce President Robert J. Peluso and retired Parsippany Police sergeant and Board of Education member Louis Valori announced their joint campaign for the town's lawmaking body.
Speaking before a group of friends and family members, Peluso said their campaign is about honoring the past while investing in the future.
"My running mate and I are standing here in the coldness of winter without a podium, without giveaways and fanfare ... as two responsible community leaders... ofﬁcially declaring our candidacy for council," he stated. "Responsible leaders persevere and donʼt complain, they are open and transparent, responsible, and—yes—have a plan."
Peluso offered information on his background as a business person for 28 years, town leader, community volunteer and new father.
"Parsippany is special to me," he said, stating the Peluso-Valori campaign theme: “Making a Difference in Parsippany.”
"As a loyal, responsible Republican, I have a record of working tirelessly as a campaign manager and successfully put candidates into ofﬁce, attended council meetings, led concerned neighborhood groups and supported conservative beliefs," Peluso said. "I am running for council because I care about our township and I care about the opportunities our families have to enjoy a good quality of life. If it's broken, we need to ﬁx it. If it's good, we need to make it better while listening to our community."
He pointed to challenges he aims to tackle, including rising taxes, traffic, ﬂood issues and creating thriving businesses.
"Itʼs time to take a long, hard look at how local government operates," he told the audience. "Itʼs time to treat our homeowners, our neighbors, our businesses as more than just an endless source of tax revenue. My ﬁght is your ﬁght for the community.
"I want your vote and promise you this: I wonʼt back down from the tough ﬁghts, I will not go along to get along and Iʼll ﬁght to make sure that your tax dollars are spent wisely."
Valori, who just missed being appointed to fill the last council vacancy because of now-cleared issues surrounding his retirement from the police department, said he and Peluso are likeminded men who make a good team.
"We are both fiscally conservative taxpayers involved with our community; we both have children and good family values," he said. "With Rob’s strong background in the banking industry and economic development, we both believe in responsible leadership with a plan."
Valori pointed to issues surrounding "constant" tax increases, quality of life, community and economic development, flood control and ensuring each taxpayer has a voice in "our diverse" community.
"We are diversified leaders who will provide direction and a vision to meet the challenges in this new economy," he said.
He added that their ticket is a positive thing for township Republicans and for the party.
"Rob and I are loyal Republicans committed to preserving conservative ideals and the Republican Party in Parsippany," he said. "We need Republican leadership that is experienced, educated and that will achieve results."
The men ended the event with a slogan: "Vote Peluso and Valori, responsible leadership with a plan."
So far, the ticket faces opposition from one challenger: On Thursday, speaking before Morris County Young Republicans in Morristown, Mayor James Barberio said unofficially that his re-election ticket will include former Planning Board member Milin Shah.
Shah confirmed the announcement to Patch, noting that he was "excited," but made no formal statement. An official announcement of the Barberio-Shah ticket is expected soon.
The primary election is scheduled for June 4. Filing deadline for prospective candidates is 4 p.m. on April 1.