In Bergen, potential Republican freeholder candidates emerge early

After snapping a six year dry spell by winning two freeholder seats last month, Bergen County Republicans are having no trouble recruiting candidates for freeholder next year, when they’ll have an opportunity to take control of the freeholder board.

Bergen County Republican Chairman Bob Yudin said that six people have expressed interest to him about running for the three seats that are up next November, all of which are currently held by Democrats.

“I’m not used to it. It’s a pleasure. I think it’s great,” said Yudin. “It shows and confirms the resurrection of our party. And I think the more people we have and the more competition we have.”

Yudin would not name the potential candidates, but multiple Bergen County Republicans pointed to several, including two candidates who have already announced intentions to run.

Former candidate Chris Calabrese is one of them.

“I’m actually making the calls right now,” he said.

Calabrese was the Republicans’ top vote getter in 2008, losing to the Democratic incumbents by a relatively narrow margin. He sought the party’s support for a freeholder run this year, but faced blowback over a flyer that offended some past Republican freeholder candidates by comparing his own vote totals to theirs. He ultimately lost to Mahwah Councilman Rob Hermansen and Paramus activist John Driscoll, who went on to unseat two Democratic incumbents in November and will be sworn in next month.

“I don’t want to get into that,” said Calabrese. “That’s the past and I’m looking to move forward and work very hard. We have the momentum. I think I’d be a great asset to the freeholder board and represent the taxpayers of Bergen County.”

Bergen County Young Republicans Chairman Ken Tyburczy is also making the rounds. He recently announced his intention to run at a Republican event in Lodi and has even printed up flyers with a “Tyburczy for freeholder” email account.

Tyburczy, who is out of state on business, confirmed to PolitickerNJ.com via email that he submitted a letter of intent to run for freeholder.

Other potential candidates, according to multiple sources, include Old Tappan Mayor Victor Polce, East Rutherford Councilman Joel Brizzi, Rochelle Park Mayor Frank Valenzuela, Franklin Lakes Mayor Maura De Nicola and Westwood Councilwoman Cynthia Waneck.

In Bergen, potential Republican freeholder candidates emerge early