DiGaetano: ‘Backroom Deal’ Responsible for Corrado-Fronted LD40 Ticket

Paul DiGaetano is considering running for BCRO chairman.

Paul DiGaetano is running for BCRO chairman.

Passaic County Clerk Kristin Corrado announced that she would be pursuing the LD40 state senate seat to be vacated by Senator Kevin O’Toole in 2017. On that ticket, she will be joined by Wyckoff Mayor Kevin Rooney and former Wyckoff Mayor Christopher DePhillips as they pursue the seats of Assemblymen Scott Rumana and David Russo as they supposedly move on to judgeships.

According to candidate for Bergen County Republican Organization Chairman Paul DiGaetano, he will not necessarily be supporting the Corrado ticket if he is elected to replace current BCRO chairman Bob Yudin in June. He said that his main concern with the Corrado ticket stems from the way he believes it was brokered and the fact that neither Russo nor Rumana has explicitly stated that they do not plan to run for reelection.

“It certainly looks like there has been a deal made between counties to establish a slate even before the time arrives,” DiGaetano told PolitickerNJ. “I have spoken to some of the people involved and none of the supposed vacancies are occurring yet. I have spoken to both Rumana and Russo. Neither expressed to me that they are not going to be running. Kevin O’Toole made his announcement but there have been situations and I was in a district where the Senator made the same announcement and yet decided to run again. “

DiGaetano, a former LD36 assemblyman, also said that if he is elected BCRO chair, the reorganized leadership should have a say in who runs in LD40 next year.

“I am not committing to any ticket that was the object of some backroom deal a year ahead of time,” DiGaetano said. “I believe that if there is new leadership in Bergen County after the chairman’s election they can and should have a say in who the candidates are rather than have those candidates picked by some deal. Should I become chairman after the election all decisions will be made by a group of influential leaders in the Bergen County Republican Party, not individually by the chair.”

DePhillip, Corrado and Rooney.

DePhillips, Corrado and Rooney.

Before Corrado, Rooney and DePhillips announced their candidacy, rumors had been swirling the DiGaetano was considering making a play for O’Toole’s senate seat. When asked if he was considering a run, DiGaetano said that he hadn’t given the idea much thought.

“I am running for chairman,” DiGaetano said. “Next year is a long time away. It is certainly way too early to talk about who are the candidates except for those who are already announced.”