Bergen forces grin through the pain of ongoing party discord

ST. PETERSBURG – The balloons and hoopla belied some bruised knuckles in the aftermath – and ongoing mayhem – of party fights in Monmouth and Bergen.

Present in the crowd for Gov. Chris Christie’s speech here were Bergen County GOP Chairman Bob Yudin and his chief Bergen confidant, state Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-40).

The two men roughed up a challenger to Yudin’s power a couple of months ago, but ended up having to acknowledge a split party just as they ran even forcefully into their old foe, County Executive Kathe Donovan, on the issue of consolidating Bergen law enforcement.

Even though Christie sat down with Yudin and Cardinale and told them to work with Donovan, Bergen Republicans trailed a blood spoor down to Tampa.

Cardinale said there’s no war between he and Yudin and the governor.

“There’s no need to make peace with him,” said the veteran senator. “We are at peace. He’s headlining a fundraiser for Bergen Republicans on Sept. 24th. All we have is this burning issue with the county police.”

Standing nearby were attorney Brian Nelson and Christine Hanlon, both of Monmouth.

In June, Hanlon lost a bid for the Monmouth GOP chairmanship by a narrow margin to former state Sen. John Bennett.

“John and I are friends, and I support him,” Hanlon told

“Monmouth is not Bergen,” assured Nelson.

Bergen forces grin through the pain of ongoing party discord