Surprise LD40 shake-up pushes Vergano, Rottino into the conversation

Major 2017 developments played out in District 40 last night while you were watching the presidential debate, Save Jerseyans.

The party chairman of the three counties which encompass all but one of the towns in the district publicly rebuked and repudiated the only announced ticket of candidates.  The ticket of Kristen Corrado for Senate as well as Chris DePhillips and Kevin Rooney for Assembly, which many saw as unlikely to continue forward anyway after Bob Yudin’s defeat in June’s BCRO election, was nevertheless delivered a devastating blow.

The LD40 ticket... until yesterday?
The LD40 ticket… until yesterday?

The ticket, the brainchild of controversial Passaic GOP powerbroker Peter Murphy and former BCRO Bob Yudin, had long been seen as DOA since Yudin’s loss, but the public rebuke yesterday was strong.  The statement from Morris County Chairman John Sette, Bergen County Chairman Paul DiGaetano, and perhaps most surprisingly Passaic County Chairman John Traier, resulted from Murphy’s reported participation in an event for Goldman Sachs fat cat and presumptive 2017 Democrat gubernatorial nominee Phil Murphy (no more related, it appears, than our own Matt Rooney and Kevin Rooney).

The three chairman vowed to work together to form another unified ticket, but the implications may be earlier than 2017. With Scott Rumana set to have a judiciary hearing in the next few weeks, a replacement may need to be selected within the coming months.  According to sources the list of remaining replacements is long but Wayne Mayor Chris Vergano and Franklin Lakes businessman Anthony Rottino top the list.

The old ticket’s chances of continuing with institutional party support?

One elected official in the district who asked to remain unnamed opined that Kevin Rooney can remain on the LD40 ticket only in “an alternate universe.”

As for DePhillips? “Not quite in the position of Rooney, but also a non-starter.”

Stay here for all developments regarding this race as it unfolds.