Democrats feel confident that former Bergen County Health Inspector Michael Guarino will not be on the ballot in the June 5 Republican primary for State Senator. Guarino, a 78-year-old former Lyndhurst Board of Education member who switched parties over the last few weeks, filed with 101 — just one more than the legal requirement. If just two of the signatures are invalidated, Republicans in the 36th district would need to get 100 write-in votes in the primary to prevent Democratic State Senator Paul Sarlo from running unopposed.
Giving Sarlo a pass could be bad news for Republicans. The two-term Democrat from Wood-Ridge has over $500,000 cash on hand, and would like to use those funds to help other Democrats as he chases a leadership position after the '07 election. He is among the possible candidates to replace Bernard Kenny as Majority Leader.