By Matthew Gilson | The Save Jersey Blog
Party loyalty appears to be more in flux than ever in Bergen County, Save Jerseyans; this time it’s a Republican who has defected.
Jeff Bader, a former three-term Republican councilman in Woodcliff Lake, will run as a Democrat for the open mayoral seat. Bader was passed over by the Republicans for mayor, and it wasn’t the first time Republicans passed over him for higher office. In 2010 and 2011, Bader came within a few votes of winning the BCRO line for freeholder at the county convention.
What derailed both bids? Something that, for starters, makes his switch not overly surprising and, truthfully, should serves as a valuable line of attack for Republicans. Bader has given a total of $5,000 to embattled to United States Senator Bob Menendez over the past decade! In past addresses to the BCRO, Bader countered that he also gave money to Tom Kean Jr. in his run against Menendez, however this was a paltry $500.
We can speculate all day as to why he was playing both sides of the fence, Save Jerseyans, but the amount of money donated by an elected GOP’er to the state’s senior Democrat federal official was startling and, to many BCRO members, more than a little troubling.
Should Bader have been surprised that Republicans passed him over for mayor when his last donation to Menendez was as recent as 2014? Not hardly. With Republicans like that, who needs Democrat?
Thankfully, not only is Woodcliff Lake a strong Republican town, but Republicans have coalesced behind a solid candidate and proven vote-getter, Council President Carlos Rendo. Rendo, an attorney, is seen as a rising star in the party and will have the full backing of the party to take out Bader in the fall. If Rendo and his ticket are successful, the town will return to 6-0 Republican and the mayor’s seat, exactly where it should have been all along.