By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
Have you been following this one, Save Jerseyans? I suspect not unless you’re a party insider or a Passaic/Bergen area politico.
The gist: two veteran incumbent Republican legislators aren’t officially endorsed by the Passiac GOP as of this writing despite a vote by county committee to do just that.
On Wednesday, Superior Court Judge Ernest M. Caposelaon issued an injunction barring LD40 candidates Asm. David Russo, Asm. Scott Rumana, and challenger John Capo from running in the primary with the Passaic County Regular Republican Organization at least until a trial to settle the dispute on April 9th. You can check out the Plaintiffs’ complaint here and the brief here.
What brought on the challenge? Those close to the situation in the ever-combustible Bergen-Passiac district say it’s the latest chapter in the never-ended power feud between the respective factions of Rumana, the immediate predecessor of current party chairman John Traier, and Peter Murphy, also a former chairman and Rumana’s prime antagonist in the party (Capo is a union leader from Murphy’s power base: Totowa).
Long story short, Paterson Republican committeeman William Connolly cast a “bullet vote” for Capo back at the nominating convention, presumably in an effort to help boost Capo by preventing one member of the Rumana/Russo team from finishing second; Connolly’s vote was consequently thrown out since PCRRO party bylaws disallow voting for only one candidate when committee members are supposed to select more than one candidate. Connolly, alleging that it was a violation of his constitutional rights, hired attorney Angelo J. Genova to file the above-referenced suit. PCRRO obviously disagree.
Still with me?
We all know the line is critical in primary elections particularly when low turnout tends to skew results. What we’re waiting to see know is whether Judge Caposelaon orders a re-vote.