The communication breakdown between Passaic County Democratic Chairman John Currie and former Sheriff Jerry Speziale was not the only short circuit Republicans will try to exploit on Nov. 2nd.
An older feud between Currie and Paterson At-Large Councilman Rigo Rodriguez now helps propel two countywide Latino candidates for the GOP – sheriff’s candidate Felix Garcia and freeholder candidate Thomas Gomez.
A statewide Dominican-American leader, Rodriguez is convinced that Currie was behind trying to take him out during this year’s council race, when the councilman barely survived re-election.
Now there are two Latinos on the other side, while the Dems have none in a county where Hispanics are integral to Democratic Party power.
Even if Garcia and Gomez come up short in the general, Gov. Chris Christie will have eliminated Speziale from the 2013 gubernatorial election (sheriff is every three years), while laying vital, early organizational groundwork and amplifying GOP presence with Passaic Hispanics.
Add to that Christie’s strong relationships with North Ward Democratic Party power broker Steve Adubato, whose machine is driven by Latinos; Union City Mayor Brian P. Stack; and Latino Leadership Alliance founder Martin Perez, and it’s no stretch to see the governor making a hard play for a key Democratic voting bloc statewide.