GOP loses big name candidate in Passaic

For a brief moment, it looked like the Republicans might have been putting together a sort of dream team in the race for Passaic County Freeholder: former County Clerk Ronnie Nochimson and former Sheriff Ronald Fava had both become candidates for Passaic County Freeholder. Fava, an ex-Assemblyman, Passaic County Freeholder and Paterson Municipal Court Judge, dropped out of the race after GOP County Chairman Michael Mecca — declined to give him the organization line. Now Nochimson has withdrawn — replaced on the ballot by a political newcomer from Paterson. Democrats were having problems picking their candidate: first they chose Sami Merhi, a controversial Arab American businessman; then after many Democrats, including Governor Jon Corzine and U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, said they would not back him, Passaic Demoocrats voted to revoke their support of Merhi and back Joanne Graziano, a Hawthorne school board member and teachers union leader. But when questions regarding the accuracy of Graziano’s resume were exposed, she withdrew from the race. Now Democrats are backing a political newcomer, Tahesha Way, the wife of a former New York Giants football player. But with Nochimson out of the race, the GOP has lost their marquis candidate and even with Merhi still running as an Independent, the Republicans probably have little chance to win a contest in a county they have not carried since 2001.

GOP loses big name candidate in Passaic