Bergen County Exec’s race: Tedesco hits urban Bergen; Pascrell says Donovan “not connecting”

EDGEWATER – Democrat Jim Tedesco took his Bergen County Executive campaign to this densely populated Bergen County borough by the Hudson hard as part of a Sunday run through Bergen’s more urbanized, Democratic strongholds.

“Down here we have a very solid Democratic base, and it’s important that we get that base out,” said Tedesco, the Bergen County freeholder who is taking on Republican incumbent Kathleen Donovan, standing outside of Democratic election headquarters in Edgewater, close to the other strongly Democratic towns of Cliffside Park and Fairview. “That’s why I’m here today, and I’ll do that later in Saddle Brook, Hackensack, Teaneck and Englewood to make sure that they get out and vote.” 

Tedesco’s push to drive as many voters from Democratic strongholds to the polls as possible is one important way that he can counter a considerable fundraising gap in the race. Recent campaign finance reports demonstrate that as of late June, Donovan had raised more than $206,000, while Tedesco had raised just over $39,000. 

Tedesco, however, told PolitickerNJ that a ramped-up fundraising effort over the campaign’s last six weeks would close the gap. 

“There are a number of fundraisers coming up over the next 40 days. I have at least one to two every week for the next four to five weeks,” Tedesco said. “I’ve been up on TV since the beginning of last week. My message is already out there. Whatever concern there was about name recognition, that’s being overcome.”

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9), who campaigned with Tedesco in Edgewater on Sunday and who has been a steady presence by Tedesco’s side on the campaign trail, offered a slightly different take on the Bergen campaign.

“[Campaigning in the more urbanized towns] would be the classic approach, and of course you go to people based on past votes who are more inclined to vote for you,” Pascrell, whose Ninth Congressional District includes Edgewater, said. “But I would use the entire county. This is an off-year election. Pick your spots, target your voters and get them out before and on Election Day.”

Pascrell also scoffed at any fundraising gap being the main factor in the Bergen County Executive’s race.

“I don’t think this election is going to be decided on money. It’s going to be decided on who the people feel more comfortable with,” said Pascrell. “I think  [Donovan’s] problem of late is that she’s not connecting with the people that she needs to get to the right number to win this election. I think Jimmy is connecting with people. I think he follows through, and he’s not trying to hurt anybody.” 

Bergen County Exec’s race: Tedesco hits urban Bergen; Pascrell says Donovan “not connecting”