A robocall in Ridgewood caused a stir in the village’s municipal elections this week, with all of the candidates it supported disowning it.
The call, made by the Bergen County Republican Organization (BCRO) on Sunday, voiced support for council incumbents Betty Wiest, Jacques Harlow and new council candidate Keith Killion.
According to Killion’s campaign manager, Ron Verdicchio, the call sounded “as if Keith Killion was running with and endorsing Jacque Harlow and Betty Wiest.” Killion, the town’s second-in-command policeman, is actually endorsing two other non-incumbent candidates: Paul Aronsohn and Anne Zusy.
Killion himself made a response robo-call in which he emphasized that he endorsed Aronsohn and Zusy.
Wiest said that she didn’t know about the call until she received it on Sunday afternoon, and spent the next hour trying to get in touch with organization officials to stop it.
“Frankly I was livid. We do not do that in Ridgewood,” she said. “It really is unwarranted, unasked for and we kind of pride ourselves here in Ridgewood that we’re more issue oriented, and that’s the beauty of our kind of government.”
Harlow was also upset about the call.
“It rubbed everyone the wrong way,” he said.
Bergen County Republican Chairman Rob Ortiz said that he understands the town is non-partisan, and that the call only had a positive message.
“After looking at the five candidates running, the Republican organization believed that Harlow, Killion and Wiest were the best suited to represent the village in that they were fiscally responsible and Killion has a great public service safety record,” he said. “If Mr. Killion decides that he would rather be teamed up with Mr. Aronsohn and with Ms. Zusy, that’s his choice. But at the end of the day the Republican organization believes that Harlow, Wiest and Killion are the three best suited to move Ridgewood in the right direction.”