Current Bergen County Republican Organization (BCRO) Chairman Bob Yudin is calling for his competitor, former Assemblyman Paul DiGaetano, to step out of the race for the position in the county organization. Yudin’s call comes after allegations that DiGaetano once threatened the life of LD40 state Senator Kevin O’Toole were reported.
“BCRO has a reputation for integrity that must be maintained at all costs, and these charges immediately disqualify Mr. DiGaetano’s ability to do that,” Yudin said in a statement. “Our Republican Party cannot have as its head anyone who is surrounded by even a hint of scandal, or who may use threats and intimidation as part of their leadership style. If we do, it will be disastrous for our future and our candidates.”
O’Toole’s on the record comments about the incident—which Yudin’s statement claims “had made the rounds as a whispered rumor in Bergen County political circles” for years—have been denied by DiGaetano. According to O’Toole, in 2005, DiGaetano wanted the Essex County line during the 2005 gubernatorial race in which he was a candidate. At the time, O’Toole was Essex County Republican chairman.
In his statement, O’Toole referenced that he contacted the New Jersey Attorney General in 2005 when the incident occurred. Yudin is also challenging DiGaetano to call on the AG to release any records associated with the incident.
“If Mr. DiGaetano wants to truly address these accusations, he should call on the Attorney General to release any records they have related to this incident. He is the only one who can request this to happen, and he should if he wants BCRO members and the public to believe his denials,” Yudin’s statement said.
On June 21, the BCRO will decide whether or not Yudin will be replaced by DiGaetano as the BCRO chairman.
“For the good of the Bergen County Republican Party and Republicans across our communities, Mr. DiGaetano must immediately end his bid for Chairman of the BCRO, and those currently supporting him should rethink their support,” Yudin said.