Ruth Dugan is a non-profit executive and lifelong problem solver who resides in Saddle River with her husband, Jim, a well known icon in the state of New Jersey.
Arriving in this country as a child, one of her proudest moments was becoming a citizen at the age of 18. Ten years later, she was on the podium with Jimmy Carter when he accepted the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. The opportunity and love of this country is what inspired her commitment to serving her community.
Throughout her career, Ruth’s advocacy-driven work has led her to serve in leadership roles in a number of different sectors, including healthcare, cancer support, and education. From serving as the President of the Saddle River Board of Education, to leading the Gilda’s Club of Northern New Jersey, Ruth’s objective has always been the same: get involved and make a difference.
When Bayonne’s only hospital faced financial ruin, Ruth was recruited to save it. As chair of the Bayonne Medical Center, Ruth brought people together from across the political spectrum, working with business leaders, community members, and healthcare experts and saved the hospital by successfully making the case that a city cannot be without access to healthcare.
Now, Ruth is running for the New Jersey Senate to bring a fresh perspective to Trenton and do what she does best – get things done. Ruth is ready to put her healthcare expertise and education background to work to help pave a better future for her children, grandchildren and the hardworking residents of District 39.
Born in Lancaster, South Carolina, Melinda has lived in New Jersey for more than thirty years. She and her husband Peter reside in Demarest, where they raised their three children.
Melinda began her public service as a member of the Demarest Board of Education. She spent twelve years on the School Board, three as Board President. Melinda ran and won a seat on the Borough Council in 2007 and was in the second year of her third term when she chose to run for Mayor against a two term incumbent. After soundly defeating her opponent, she took office in January of 2019.
As the current Mayor of Demarest, Melinda has led the council in efforts to improve the lives of the borough’s citizens. Road improvements, new ordinances, and improving coordination between borough departments are among the consistent strides Melinda has made to better Demarest and its neighboring communities during her tenure.
Melinda wants to bring her skills as a leader to the Assembly and put them to use for the residents of the 39th district.
Karlito A. Almeda is the proud son of Filipino immigrants, a millenial, and a lifelong community organizer who was born and raised in Mahwah.
At an early age, Karlito’s passion for civic engagement led to his involvement in environmental activism – a cause he first discovered through the Mahwah Environmental Volunteers Organization. Later, as an organizer for Environment New Jersey, Karlito spent his college summers knocking on thousands of doors – working overtime to organize his community in order to keep our state’s air, water, and land clean for all New Jerseyans.
After graduating college, Karlito went on to work in the New Jersey Legislature, where he currently serves as the Deputy Legislative Director for Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg. Throughout his tenure in Majority Leader Weinberg’s office, Karlito has been instrumental in the construction of landmark legislation, including a critical rail infrastructure package and long overdue policies handling sexual misconduct probes within political organizations.
Now, Karlito is stepping up to represent a new generation of leadership in Trenton. Equipped with public policy expertise and a passion for helping his neighbors, Karlito is ready to serve our District 39 community as a member of the General Assembly.