Fernando Alonso was supposed to take over the Republican LD-38 candidacy after Anthony Cappola withdrew over writings perceived as bigoted. On Tuesday, it was announced that his name would not be making it onto the ballot due to prohibitive costs that forced Republicans to withdraw their appeal.
According to Alonso, the recent events demonstrate that Bergen’s GOP is “at rock bottom or close to it.” He also said that, after next month’s election, the party has “nowhere to go but up.”
“I know everyone is struggling to win these elections,” Alonso said. “Unfortunately, they made a decision to do something—which was go to court—and then they had to back off. I told them that they should have been prepared beforehand. Know your facts. Unfortunately that didn’t happen.”
For Alonso, the decision by Chairman Bob Yudin and other members of the Bergen County Republican Organization to pursue his candidacy without an assessment of cost was a complicated one. He believes that the final outcome demonstrates that.
“Yudin was caught with this situation and everybody tried to handle it as best as they could,” he said. “If they were saying to themselves ‘Well, I am going to do this if it only costs x amount of money’ then they should have known the level of the cost. If they had said, ‘We have to do this no matter the cost’ then it should have gone forward. I think the court would have given us the opportunity and then the party and the whole message of all that stuff in that crazy book would have gone away.”
According to Alonso, while he is not considering the BCRO chairmanship for himself, Yudin’s future in the position will be determined by the outcomes of the upcoming elections.
“New leadership is something that has to be debated after the elections,” Alonso said. “I like Bob Yudin personally a lot but I think he knows and everyone knows that his tenure will live and die by the election results that are coming now in November. At a certain point if you keep losing you have to do something different.”
Despite recent struggles Republican freeholder candidates Ken Tyburczy and John Mitchell have had, Alonso said he still believes the Freeholder race is the Bergen GOP’s best shot of winning on November 3.