Bergen County Democrats have recruited a relatively unknown slate of candidates to run for the Legislature in the 39th district — leadings some insiders to question recent buzz among Democrats that incumbents Gerald Cardinale, John Rooney and Charlotte Vandervalk could face a serious challenge this year. Democrats will run Joseph Aryan, an attorney from Saddle River, for the Senate, and River Edge Councilwoman Esther Fletcher and Bergen County Education Association Vice President Dennis Testa for the Assembly.
The towns in the 39th have been trending Democratic in recent years, though the legislators have not been seriously challenged. Democrats have not won in this district since 1977.
After a divisive Republican primary for County Executive and Freeholder last year, there were public threats of a primary challenge to Rooney and Vandervalk — ex-gubernatorial candidate Robert Schroeder was short listed for that race — but so far, no serious opposition to the incumbents have emerged.