TRENTON – Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D -37) said that she hopes the Bergen Democrats come to a quick decision about who will take on Republican incumbent County Executive Kathleen Donovan.
“I’m honored I’ve been mentioned as a formidable opponent, but I still want to concentrate on this [Legislature] session as it winds down,” Huttle told PolitickerNJ.com as she paused between votes in the Statehouse on Monday. “I think it will be a collective decision to see who is best for the party. We’re still not there yet.”
Bergen County Surrogate Michael Dressler has for weeks been sitting at the top of a list of possible Democratic challengers against Donovan in the November election. Other prominent Bergen names reportedly under consideration include County Clerk John Hogan, Freeholder Tracy Silna Zur and Prosecutor John Molinelli. Former Freeholder Chairman Jim Carroll declared his candidacy in May. The party will hold its county convention in March.
Bergen Republicans met last month in Hackensack to show unity in the face of a potentially strong Democratic challenge, with Donovan and longtime intra-party rival Bergen County Republican Chairman Bob Yudin joining hands in public.
In light on this newly-found GOP camaraderie, Huttle suggested that the Bergen Democrats make a decision about who will oppose Donovan in a matter of weeks, not months.
“The Bergen County Democrats are having our winter gala by Jan. 16. I would hope that by then a decision would be made on who our preferred candidate is,” said Huttle, who has been suggested as the favored politician for those seeking a female challenger. “Unity is strength, and we need it now.”