Former Assemblyman Scott Rumana has traded in his legislative seat for a robe, Save Jerseyans, and BCRO Chairman Paul DiGaetano is asking committee members to back Michael Marotta, the Republican leader in the Passaic County community of Wayne.
“All 10 Officers of The Bergen County Republican Leadership Team support Michael Marotta of Wayne to fill the Assembly vacancy in LD 40 on November 22, 2016 and we respectfully ask you to do so as well,” DiGaetano announced in a Friday e-mail, noting his Passaic and Morris counterparts support the pick, too.
Chairman DiGaetano also took a direct shot at the now seemingly-defunct LD40 ticket assembled by Passaic County’s Peter Murphy, of Kristen Corrado for Senate and Chris DePhillips and Kevin Rooney for Assembly. He denounced what he says is the “cavalier approach” of ticket member Rooney of Wyckoff who DiGaetano alleged has falsely touted endorsements from GOP officials — including Tom Kean and Jon Bramnick — who in fact never supported the ticket according to Bergen’s top Republican leader.
“The current announcement from Rooney again refers to his being part of that ‘ticket’ and lists the support of Assembly Republican Leader Bramnick and Senate Republican Leader Kean for that ‘ticket’ and for Kevin Rooney’s candidacy,” DiGaetano stated. “Subsequent to that announcement there has been discussion with both Leaders Bramnick and Kean, and we currently have written confirmation from them, that they do NOT support any such ‘ticket’ nor do they support any candidate to fill the Rumana vacancy. Further they indicate that they did NOT grant permission for their names to be used in any manner.”
Rooney sided with former DiGaetano rival Bob Yudin in June’s chairman’s race along with departing LD40 State Senator Kevin O’Toole. Yudin has continued to verbally snipe at DiGaetano particularly in light of a tough electoral outing for the still-recovering county organization.
The 40th District County Committee election is slated for November 22, 2016.
The full text of DiGaetano’s e-mail is below the fold….
My Fellow District 40 Republicans,
I hope this message finds you still basking in the glow of a truly historic Presidential election! We are all excited about the possibilities afforded all Americans by having a Republican President coupled with Republican majorities in the House and Senate.
My focus, for the moment, however, is about the vacancy in the State Assembly for our Legislative District 40 which was created by the appointment of former Assemblyman Scott Rumana, of Wayne, to the Superior Court. Since the vacancy occurred, there have been a number of discussions with other County Chairs, covering this district, about an appropriate replacement and a proper course of action.
In consultation, all 10 officers of the Bergen County Republican Organization have unanimously determined to support Michael Marotta, the Municipal Chairman of Wayne, and a former Passaic County Freeholder, to fill the Rumana vacancy.
You are undoubtedly aware of the announced candidacy of Kevin Rooney of Wyckoff as well. His announcement letter referred to his being part of a “ticket” of three candidates created early this year and announced as Rooney exited the race for Bergen Chairman with a surprise endorsement of the former Chairman. That announcement contained the names of many Bergen elected officials allegedly endorsing that ”ticket”, many of whom have since advised us that they granted no such permission for the use of their names. The current announcement from Rooney again refers to his being part of that “ticket” and lists the support of Assembly Republican Leader Bramnick and Senate Republican Leader Kean for that “ticket” and for Kevin Rooney’s candidacy. Subsequent to that announcement there has been discussion with both Leaders Bramnick and Kean, and we currently have written confirmation from them, that they do NOT support any such “ticket” nor do they support any candidate to fill the Rumana vacancy. Further they indicate that they did NOT grant permission for their names to be used in any manner. Clearly, this cavalier approach using people’s names is very troubling to everyone.
As you know, LD 40 is a multi-County district comprised of 47% Passaic County, 37% Bergen County, 9% Morris County and 5% Essex County. Passaic County Republican Chairman John Traier, with whom we have been working very closely, has raised the concern that Passaic County, comprising 47% of the district, would have no resident member of the District 40 legislative delegation if someone outside Passaic County was selected to be Scott Rumana’s replacement. Chairman Traier’s Leadership Team has recommended and endorsed Michael Marotta, former Freeholder and current municipal chairman of Wayne. We, here in the Bergen Republican Leadership, respect the Passaic County Leadership’s position and have great confidence in Michael Marotta’s ability to serve all the residents of LD 40 extremely well. Michael has worked, and continues to work, closely with former Assemblyman Scott Rumana’s key people and will be able to “hit the ground running” if selected to fill the Rumana vacancy. You should also be aware that Morris County’s Leadership have advised us that they share our position.
All 10 Officers of The Bergen County Republican Leadership Team support Michael Marotta of Wayne to fill the Assembly vacancy in LD 40 on November 22, 2016 and we respectfully ask you to do so as well.
Paul DiGaetano, Chairman
Bergen County Republican Chairman