An organization that promotes the interests and participation of Latinos in Bergen County Republican politics has endorsed state 38th Legislative District Assembly candidates Mark DiPisa and Anthony Cappola going into Monday’s night’s Bergen County Republican Organization (BCRO) convention.
Fernando Alonso, Bergen County Republican Hispanic Association chairman, explained in a written statement that while Ed Trawinski, the County Administrator in the administration of former Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan, “has a history of government experience,” he believes the time has come to promote different Republican candidates.
“It is our opinion that the best chance to win and change New Jersey for the better is by voting for Mark DiPisa and Anthony Cappola [Monday] at the convention,” said Alonso, an attorney from Oradell who unsuccessfully ran against incumbent state Senator Bob Gordon (D-38) in 2013. “This we say because it is also the best chance now to bring a newer and better 38th District Republican Party representation to Trenton.”
Trawinski announced last month that he would run with DiPisa in an attempt to dislodge Democratic LD 38 incumbents Assemblymen Tim Eustace and Joseph Lagana.
Trawinski, of Fair Lawn, is a veteran GOP operative. He also served the Kean Administration as Assistant State Commerce Commissioner. He currently works with the law firm Schenck, Price, Smith & King, LLP, a regional law firm located in Florham Park.
Cappola, a River Edge councilman, announced he would make a LD 38 Assembly bid at the same time. Cappola has the support of Bergen County Freeholder John Felice.
In his endorsement statement, Alonso elaborated on his reasons for supporting DiPisa and Cappola.
“[DiPisa] has gone beyond the usual lip service given to minorities in general, and Hispanics in particular, by marrying a Hispanic,” said Alonso, referring to the fact that DiPisa, 34, an attorney who lives in Lodi, is married to a Cuban-American. “Although many Republicans in Bergen County may not think so, the act of marrying a Hispanic and having children with a Hispanic will go a long way toward building the trust of our community. Simply put, just talking the talk will fall on deaf ears and Mark DiPisa’s personal history will garner votes that other Republicans won’t get come November.”
“[Cappola] has also gone beyond the usual clichés when it comes to Hispanics because he has made a diligent effort to learn the language and culture of our community. More importantly, he has invested in the hard work of our community by hiring Hispanics and other minorities to work with him in his business,” added Alonso about Cappola, 41, who runs an entertainment and party planning business based in Fort Lee. “This is more than most other Republicans can say when they knock on the front doors of Latino households seeking their vote. Anthony has already proven that he can represent the new and improved Republican Party that can attract non traditional voters and his work ethic in seeking votes is evident in this campaign where he has knocked on every door and called everyone.”
Trawinski responded on Monday morning to Alonso’s endorsement of Cappola and DiPisa.
“After I win the convention, I look forward to receiving the support of all minority groups in LD 38, including the organization headed by Fernando Alonso,” Trawinski told PolitickerNJ. “I say this because I know that I am confident that once the organization realizes that as the Assistant Commissioner of Commerce of the state of New Jersey under Governor Tom Kean, I oversaw the Division of Development for small business, women-owned businesses, and minority owned businesses. Not only did I learn from the governor to practice the politics of inclusion, who wrote a book on that topic, but i am very proud of the fact that I was recognized by that division for my decision to hire in 1989 the then-highest-ranking Hispanic-American, Debbie Aguilar-Velez, to serve in New Jersey government. Those who know me know that I have practiced the politics of inclusion my entire career. That is why I have successfully been elected three times in the ethnically-diverse and overwhelmingly Democratic municipality of Fair Lawn.”
A source close to Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino, a Republican, indicated that the sheriff would temporarily opt out of any direct involvement in the LD 38 Assembly candidate selection process.
“Whoever wins tonight at the convention, I will put on the line,” said BCRO Chairman Bob Yudin, who has spoken before about the need for a unified party. “Those candidates will have my complete support.”
The nominating convention for the Bergen Republican LD 38 Assembly candidates will be held tonight from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at BCRO headquarters in Hackensack.