Fifteen Republican municipal chairs from New Jersey’s 39th legislative district sent a letter to county Bergen County Republican Organization (BCRO) Chairman Paul DiGaetano on Wednesday asking for the support of incumbent state Senator Gerry Cardinale over challenger John McCann in the June GOP primary. The letter asks DiGaetano to for “clarification” about his intention regarding the Bergen County line.
On Saturday, Cardinale received 119 votes to McCann’s 53 at a convention of district 39 committee members. However, it is sole discretion of the county party chairman to decide who gets support from the county party in June. Following Cadinale’s weekend win, DiGaetano told PolitickerNJ that he intends to award the line based on a number of factors including discussions with BCRO officers and a determination of what is believed to be best for county candidates. As of that Monday interview, DiGaetano said he was not inclined toward either McCann or Cardinale.
The chairs who signed the letter say DiGaetano should honor the “long standing tradition” by past chairs to make the final decision in district 39 based on the special convention, not on other factors.
“More than 170 of our Republican County Committee members from all 23 towns represented came to BCRO headquarters on a Saturday morning in order for their voices to be heard and their vote respected,” the chairs wrote. “Now that choice has been made by a more than 2 to 1 margin and we believe for the good of our Party—and the integrity of a long-standing process—it should be reflected by awarding the BCRO line to Senator Gerry Cardinale.”
The letter was signed “Concerned District 39 Municipal Chairs.” Those chairs included: Closter’s Robert DiDio, Demarest’s Richard Nafash, Dumont’s Janice Worner, Haworth’s John Smart, Hillsdale’s Jerry Milano, Mahwah’s Ben Kezmarsky, Montvale’s Roger Fyfe, Norwood’s John Straub, Old Tappan’s Robert Auth (also an assemblyman from the district), Park Ridge’s Steve Hopper, River Vale’s Mark Bromberg, Saddle River’s Jonathan Kurpis, Washington’s Gus Calamari, Westwood’s Raymond Arroyo and Woodcliff Lake’s John Glaser.
The letter also called for the endorsement of Bergen County freeholder candidate Eric Kumala.