Yudin, Schepisi: Bergen GOP freeholder candidates pick no sign of intra-party rift

HACKENSACK – Two notable Bergen Republicans looked at last night’s vote in favor of freeholder candidates Bob Avery and Deirdre Paul as just a part of the political process, not intra-party infighting. 

Avery and Paul won the nod of last night’s screening committee, according to Bergen County Republican Organization Chairman Bob Yudin. They triumphed over aspiring GOP candidates Bernadette Walsh and Brian Fitzhenry. 

In recent years, the vote in favor of Avery and Paul, who if confirmed by the Bergen GOP convention vote on Thursday will take on incumbent Democrat Freeholders David Ganz and Joan Voss in November, would be viewed in the light of intra-party intrigue. 

Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan and Yudin have struggled for control of the Bergen Republicans for years, a conflict heightened by the fact that Bergen, New Jersey’s most populous county, is seen as the bellwether county in statewide elections.

But Donovan and Yudin publicly declared a truce in December, proclaiming unity in advance of what could be a bruising 2014 re-election campaign for Donovan against Democrat Freeholder Jim Tedesco. 

Yudin told PolitickerNJ.com that last night’s screening committee was business as usual, and that the peace pact between him and Donovan was still in place.

“We do this every year. Avery and Paul are not aligned with anybody,” Yudin said. “Kathe did not endorse anybody. I did not endorse anybody. We’re unlike the Democrats. We don’t have a script. The delegates will ultimately make the decision. I don’t, and Kathe doesn’t.”

“Last night’s vote was based upon the presentations that were made,” said state Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R-39). “I don’t believe that any particular candidates are being pushed by anybody. We’re just allowing the process to evolve.” 

Yudin, Schepisi: Bergen GOP freeholder candidates pick no sign of intra-party rift