Rooney’s re-election loss in Northvale increases liklihood of Assembly primary in the 39th

The chances of a contested Republican primary for State Assembly in the 39th district increased dramatically last night when Assemblyman John Rooney lost his bid for re-election as the Mayor of Northvale. Rooney, who has been Mayor for 21 of the last 27 years, lost to Democratic Councilman John Hogan by 65 votes — a 52%-48% margin. Some Republicans have been threatening a primary against the 67-year-old Rooney and 69-year-old Assemblywoman Charlotte Vandervalk since the spring, when the two backed Kathleen Donovan over Todd Caliguire in a bitter primary for County Executive. In 2005, Rooney and Vandervalk held off primary challenges from Upper Saddle River Mayor Kenneth Gabbert and former Pascack Valley Board of Education member Jeffrey Hering, by a wide margin; after redistricting in 2001, they narrowly defeated another incumbent, Guy Talarico, now the Bergen County GOP Chairman. Rooney has been an Assemblyman since 1983 and Vandervalk has been in office since 1991. Some Bergen GOP insiders list Washington Township Councilman (and former gubernatorial candidate) Robert Schroeder and former Waldwick Mayor James Toolen as possible Assembly candidates.

Rooney’s re-election loss in Northvale increases liklihood of Assembly primary in the 39th