The Joe Ferriero indictment has spilled over into the 5th District Congressional race.
Bergen County Republican Chairman Bob Yudin today asked Democrat Dennis Shulman, who’s challenging U.S. Rep. E. Scott Garrett in the Bergen-dominated district, to call on Ferriero – who was indicted last week on eight corruption counts along with former BCDO general counsel Dennis Oury – to permanently resign from his chairmanship.
“If Mr. Shulman is to seriously demonstrate his commitment to the people of the Fifth District and to clean government, why then has he not called for the resignation of a corrupt party boss?” said Yudin. “At a time when Democratic leaders such as Gov. Jon Corzine and Democratic State Chairman Joseph Cryan have already asked for Ferriero to step aside, I question why Mr. Shulman has not followed suit?”
The challenge puts Shulman in a tough position, since a call for Ferriero’s resignation would put him at odds with Bergen Democrats whose help he’ll need against Garrett, who will likely run strong in the conservative bastions of Sussex and Warren Counties (the district also covers four towns in Passaic County). Those leaders decided not to ask Ferriero to resign during a tense meeting yesterday, despite previous calls by Gov. Corzine and Democratic State Chairman Joe Cryan for Ferriero’s resignation.
Ferriero is on a temporary leave of absence while Vice Chair Kay Nest has officially taken over his responsibilities.
Shulman Campaign Manager Jeff Hauser did not respond to the request, instead arguing that Shulman is focused on issues directly affection the district’s constituents.
"Dennis has accomplished so much in his life as a successful psychologist, educator, rabbi, and community leader because he has the ability to maintain focus,” he said. “Unlike Scott Garrett, who has so disastrously sat on the House Financial Services Committee and done the bidding of Countrywide Financial, Dennis is singularly focused on bringing change to Washington, DC and helping address the economic crisis that Garrett not only has ignored, but denied."