GOP upset in Passaic Clerk race; Peter Murphy is back

Republicans won all three hotly contested races for County Clerk. The biggest upset came in Passaic County, where Kristin Corrado, a former assistant counsel to the governor, defeated Woodland Park Councilman Keith Kazmark by a 52%-48% margin. Cumberland County Clerk Gloria Noto and Salem County Clerk Gilda Gill were also re-elected despite facing aggressive Democratic challenges.

The Passaic County Clerk's office returns to Republican hands after five years of Democratic control. In 2004, Karen Brown ousted popular GOP Clerk Ronni Nochimson. Brown quickly fell out of favor with county Democratic leaders and she did not seek re-election. Democrats picked Kazmark over Nochimson, who switched parties two years ago. Corrado is allied with a faction of the Passaic County GOP headed by former GOP County Chairmen Peter Murphy and Michael Mecca; she had won a contested primary over the candidate backed by the Passaic County GOP organization. Her victory, to some extent, marks a political comeback for Murphy, who served time in a federal prison earlier in the decade and was prosecuted by the newly-elected Governor, Christopher Christie.

Most astonishing about Corrado's victory, and by the GOP pickup of three Freeholder seats: Gov. Jon Corzine carried Passaic County, 51%-44%. GOP upset in Passaic Clerk race; Peter Murphy is back