Dems kickoff challenge in 39th

The Democratic legislative candidates in the 39th district kicked off their campaign today, calling for the defeat of three longtime Republican legislators.

Joseph Ariyan, Bergen County’s Public Advocate for Land Use, is challenging long-time GOP State Sen. Gerald Cardinale.

Joined by the district’s Democratic assembly candidates — River Edge Councilwoman Esther Fletcher and Dumont Councilman Carl Mannah — Ariyan talked optimistically about Democrats’ chances in this traditionally Republican district.

“It’s time for a change in the 39th,”said Ariyan at the rally. “For too long, the people of District 39 have settled on the status quo.”

Just last month, Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferreiro ended a primary battle in the neighboring 37th district, pledging to inject resources into the 39th, and turning Cardinale, an otherwise safe candidate, into a potentially vulnerable one.

Fletcher and Manna are running against incumbent Assembly members John Rooney and Charlotte Vandervalk, both longtime incumbents.

“The Democratic Party in Bergen County has come a long way in recent years,” said Manna. “After last year’s upset in Northvale (where Rooney lost his bid for re-election as Mayor), there are more than a half a dozen towns in District 39 that have gone Democratic.

Dems kickoff challenge in 39th