Fitzhenry’s In For Bergen Freeholder

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Brian Fitzhenry with Gov. Chris Christie (2013)
Brian Fitzhenry with Gov. Chris Christie (2013)

Control of the Bergen County Freeholder board will once again be at stake in the 2014 election, Save Jersey.

What else is new is this perennial bellwether for statewide political trend?

Democrats defeated incumbent John Mitchell to take a 5-2 advantage last November, but it’s worth keeping in mind that Democrats David Ganz and Joan Voss are up for election this year, and a Republican sweep would once again return them to a 4-3 advantage and assure control of the board in New Jersey’s most populous county until at least 2017. 

Just as in 2010, Republicans are hoping that a county ticket topped by County Executive Kathe Donovan (and supported by the county organization) will lead them back into control. Our sources report that at least one more possible member of the ticket is already throwing his hat into the ring…

Candidates typically declare their intentions by February 1st for a March convention; as of yesterday, only Ridgewood Councilwoman Bernadette Walsh has entered the fray. 

I can now confirm that former District 36 senate candidate, Brian Fitzhenry, will soon formally enter the race according to a source lose to the campaign, and I’m told he is expected to become an immediate favorite. 

A successful small business owner and volunteer firefighter, Fitzhenry put forward a strong campaign last fall in a district against veteran Democrat state Senator Paul Sarlo, an effort that was written off early and often by most pundits. 

Fitzhenry is also a close ally of the District 36 chairman and MC of Donovan’s fundraiser last month, Joe Crifasi, and he’s expected to command nearly universal support from those in southern Bergen as well as those with close ties to Donovan. One can help but conjure a comparison between his own candidacy and that of East Rutherford Councilman Joel Brizzi who, in 2011, was able to sail through a convention by locking up these key aspects of support. 

Naturally it remains to seen whether Fitzhenry will receive an official endorsement from Donovan and whether he teams up with Walsh or any other yet-to-announce candidates. We’re just glad to see things in happening in battleground Bergen on the right side of the aisle.