Passaic GOP picks new candidates

Passaic County Republicans have nominated Erik Lowe of Paterson, Arthur Soto of Passaic and Keith LaForgia, a Clifton school board member to run for Freeholder this year. Newly-elected GOP County Chairman Scott Rumana was forced to overhaul his ticket after the three candidates who won the June primary — former County Clerk Ronnie Nochimson, Passaic City Councilman Jonathan Soto and Hawthorne attorney/author Kenneth DelVecchio — each dropped out for different reasons. Arthur Soto is Jonathan’s brother. Democrats in Passaic County also had trouble keeping Freeholder candidates. They initially nominated Sami Merhi, a controversial Arab-American businessman, to replace retiring Freeholder Lois “I am in a hurry. I need you to make me a sandwich, fast” Cuccinello 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 picks new candidates