Ortiz meets with his freeholder candidates

After a meeting last night between newly-elected Bergen County GOP Chairman Rob Ortiz and his party’s slate of freeholder candidates, both sides say they’ve got a strategy in place to run a shoe-string campaign.

Just what that strategy is, of course, they would not say.

Over the past week, there has been some speculation of a split between Ortiz and the freeholder candidates. While acknowledging that the local GOP was in dire financial straits, sources said that the freeholder candidates — Paul Duggan, Charles Kahwaty and Bob Yudin — were upset that Ortiz, who ran for the position largely on his fundraising credentials, would not be providing them with any significant funding.

“They’ve been basically thrown under the bus completely,” said one Bergen GOP insider close to the Freeholder candidates, who asked that his name not be revealed.

But after last night’s meeting, which was also attended by Sheriff candidate Harry Shortway and state Sen. Gerald Cardinale, the freeholder candidates seemed pacified.

“There’s no magic bullet. Nobody’s going to be there with a magic wand,” said Duggan.

The GOP candidates are running against a slate of incumbent Democrats with no worries over the funding of their re-election campaign: Jim Carroll, Elizabeth Calabrese and Tomas Padilla.

Democrats have a 7-0 majority on the Bergen County Board of Freeholders. Yudin ran in the last election as well, and Republicans were beaten by over 30,000 votes.
“The democrats have extraordinary resources that I don’t think we can ever hope to match, but I think there could be some surprises and I’ll just leave it at that,” said Kahwaty.

Ortiz meets with his freeholder candidates