Passaic GOP loses third Freeholder candidate

All three Republican candidates for Passaic County Freeholder have now dropped out of the race. Passaic City Councilman Jonathan Soto announced last week that he was withdrawing as a candidate in order to become Chairman of the Passaic Redevelopment Agency. Soto’s exit came a week after Kenneth Del Vecchio announced he would not run in order to concentrate on the production of a movie based on one of his books. Earlier in July, former County Clerk Ronnie Nochimson exited the race following the death of her father. For a time, it looked like the Passaic GOP had a potential All-Star roster, with Nochimson and Ronald Fava, a former Sheriff, Assemblyman, Prosecutor and Judge in the race. Now, newly-elected Passaic GOP Chairman Scott Rumana is searching for two new candidates to run, along with Derek Lowe, a political newcomer from Paterson who replaced Nochimson on the Republican ticket. Passaic Democrats have had a tough year as well. The pulled their first candidate, controversial Arab American businessman Sami Merhi, after several Democrats — including Governor Jon Corzine and Senator Robert Menendez — said Merhi’s comments on terrorism made it impossible to support him. Their replacement candidate was Joanne Graziano, a Hawthorne school board member who dropped out of the race after reports that she did not have a degree she claimed on her resume. The newest candidate is Taheesha Way, a political newcomer whose husband played football for the New York Giants.

Passaic GOP loses third Freeholder candidate