One Robert Ortiz critic isn’t impressed that the Bergen County Republican chairman has reportedly pulled the party out of debt.
Three-time freeholder candidate Bob Yudin, who blamed Ortiz for not spending enough money on his last race and is considering challenging him for the chairmanship, doesn’t give Ortiz much credit for bailing out the local organization.
“Hypothetically saying you’re out of debt is a good thing,” said Yudin. “I would want to point out to you that by his own audit, when he took over, the debt was only $38,000, which is a nothing debt.”
Yudin said that the organization has not been transparent enough under Oritz’s leadership, and that finances have never been discussed in detail at any county committee meetings.
“I certainly think we need more transparency, not less transparency,” he said, adding that he looks forward to the next county committee meeting at the end of this month. “This kind of a thing should be reported, and it has not.”
Yudin said that he will only run for chairman if he can do the job on a full-time basis. He will only run, he said, if he can focus on that job instead of running his appliance store.
Ortiz, however, said that the debt relief was a sign that the beleaguered organization was getting back to business.
"We're not doing what we're doing to impress anyone. We're doing what we are doing to try to actually win an election," said Ortiz. "There is still a lot of work to do; however, this is a big success for such an early part of the cycle. This is a sign that the best is yet to come."
The Bergen County Republican Organization will hold a vote for chairman at its reorganization meeting in June. Another possible candidate is Ben Focarino, who ran against Ortiz for the position last year.