Schillari emerges as leading rival for Perez

Key Hudson County Democrats are leaning toward Frank Schillari, the Undersheriff, to replace incumbent Juan Perez in the June primary. Schillari, a retired Secaucus police sergeant and the Undersheriff since 1997, appears to have the backing of North Bergen Mayor/State Sen. Nicholas Sacco and Union City Mayor/State Sen. Brian Stack, while Perez has the support of Jersey City Mayor/Hudson County Democratic Chairman Jerramiah Healy and State Sen. Sandra Bolden Cunningham (D-Jersey City).

Dumping Perez could cause some headaches for Democrats, since he is the only Latino who holds a countywide office.  County Executive Thomas DeGise, County Clerk Barbara Netchert, and Surrogate Donald DiLeo are white, and Register of Deeds and Mortgages Willie Flood is black.

Three years ago, Healy dumped incumbent Joseph Cassidy from the organization line and replaced him with Perez.  Cassidy ran off the line on a slate with Stack and lost by 1,233 votes – a 50%-48% margin.

Schillari emerges as leading rival for Perez