By The Staff | The Save Jersey Blog
On Monday night, Save Jerseyans, the BCRO will convene in Hackensack from 4-8 p.m. for the annual convention where candidates will attempt to woo voters not only solid policy planks but cupcakes in a spectacle that is enjoyed by political junkies and committee people all over the county.
It’s never boring.
The eligible voter pool is a little bit larger than it will be in June for the chairman’s election as all of the roughly 1,200 County Committee voters are eligible, but unlike that race, Republican elected officials both locally and those who live in Bergen County (example: Asm. Dave Russo is eligible, Asm. Scott Rumana is not) are eligible to vote.
With all of that in mind, here is all you need to know about the vote tomorrow:
THE LOCK: FREEHOLDER MAURA DENICOLA
A Save Jersey Op-Ed suggested that Freeholder DeNicola should not be put through a convention, but despite the fact she will be, there is no one envisioning a scenario where DeNicola finishes anything but first. The only recent example of an incumbent Freeholder in a convention was Rob Hermansen who, despite being only a one-term incumbent and a more controversial figure in the party, cruised to victory. While she will not hit 100%, expect her to finish far and away in first place.
THE FAVORITES: Former Freeholder John Driscoll and Closter Councilman Bob DiDio
While conventions have been close, there really has not been a tremendous “upset” in years and party officials are coalescing heavily behind Driscoll and DiDio to join Freeholder DeNicola on the ticket this year. DiDio finished ahead of Driscoll in Policy Committee, but many insiders have suggested that they may flip-flop in the full convention as the Policy Committee “one town, one vote” set up favors a candidate from the town-rich population-poor Northwest portion of the county. Whatever the order, it would constitute an upset if either Driscoll or DiDio was defeated on Monday night.
THE WILD CARD: Dr. Dierdre Paul
Dr. Paul is making her fifth run for public office since 2013, having previously run for Assembly in 2014, Freeholder and Congress in 2014 and then Freeholder in 2015 and now Freeholder in 2016. She was soundly defeated by Bernadette Walsh at the convention in 2014, but some have suggested that she has made some serious party inroads and that this bid may prove successful.
LONGSHOT: James Breheney
Breheney is making his first bid for elective office and did quite poorly in the Policy Committee meeting. He seems genuinely committed to the conservative cause but does not appear to have the local political connections to navigate the rigors of the convention process. Few Committee members report being contacted by him and a win would be surprising to say the least. Could he surprise everyone in an anti-career politician cycle?
DeNicola, Driscoll, DiDio, Paul, Breheney