Bergen GOP facing convention battles for Assembly, Freeholder slots

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Former Freeholder John Mitchell
Former Freeholder John Mitchell

While the words “unity” and “strength” were on everyone’s lips Atlantic City on Monday, Save Jerseyans, including those of Bergen County GOP Chair Bob Yudin, his organization appears headed for another round of potentially contentious intraparty contests. It’s sort of a tradition up there!

There won’t be a convention for the two seats carrying full three-year terms; as was expected, former Freeholder John Mitchell and Ramsey Councilman Ken Tyburczy were the only two candidates to file for the seats.

Mitchell, a proven vote-getter losing by less than 100 votes in his 2013 re-election bid and Tyburczy, a former chairman of the Bergen YRs who just recently coasted to re-election as councilman, should provide the party with one of its strongest county slates to date. They will face, barring an unexpected primary challenge or last minute switcheroo, incumbent Democrats Steve Tanelli and Tracy Zur in November.

Competition for the unexpired term following the resignation of Jim Tedesco upon becoming County Executive is another story altogether.

The Democrats have appointed union strongman Tom Sullivan to the vacant seat and he has already announced his intention to run for the unexpired term in November. Two GOP candidates have submitted their intention to run: Daisy Ortiz, who ran for River Edge council unsuccessfully in 2014, and Dierdre Paul, 2013 District 37 assembly candidate, 2014 freeholder candidate and 2014 congressional candidate.

There should also be a little action on the legislative front. In District 38, another convention appears on the horizon as three candidates have filed for the two assembly seats in arguably the most competitive district in the state. In 2013, Joe Scarpa came within a handful of votes defeating Tim Eustace and, in so doing, providing reason to hope that the GOP can capture one, if not both, of the seats in 2015.

Bergen County's GOP headquarters in Hackensack. (2012)
Bergen County’s GOP headquarters in Hackensack. (2012)

Battling for the nomination will be former Fair Lawn Mayor and former County Administrator, Ed Trawinski; Hasbrouck Heights attorney Mark DiPisa, and River Edge Councilman Anthony Cappola.

It’s far too early to assess any odds on this race, though Trawinski has by far the highest name recognition of the three having appeared in the news nearly every day in the last few years as county administrator. 

District 36, a key battleground if Republicans are going to recapture the lower chamber, has been decidedly more low key. As reported earlier here, James Keyes is a likely nominee and some speculate LD36 Chair Joe Crifasi is the favorite to join him on the ticket in November. Any decision from Crifasi is on hold, however, following the untimely passing of his father. Our Save Jersey family extends its deepest sympathies to Chairman Crifasi at this difficult time.

We’ll hit you up with more information as it becomes available…

2 thoughts on “Bergen GOP facing convention battles for Assembly, Freeholder slots

Comments are closed.