A longtime fundraiser and political advisor to the late State Sen. Gerald Cardinale has joined Assemblyman Bob Auth’s bid for the 39th district Senate seat.
Maria McDonald joins Cardinale’s widow, former Demarest Councilwoman Carole Cardinale, in backing Auth in a March 9 special election convention.
Cardinale, the senator since 1982, died on February 20 at age 86.
“The choice is clear in the race and Bob is the future of the GOP in district 39,” McDonald said. “I know Bob will fight for the conservative cause, he will serve the interests of the citizens of the 39th district first and he will always tell the truth.”
Auth will face his running mate, Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi, in a meeting of 39th district Republican county committee members to fill the remaining 10 months of the late senator’s term.
“Serious challenges face the 39th district today from over development to excessive property taxes to second amendment rights and Bob is the right choice to deal with these issues,” McDonald said.
McDonald offered a hint of the campaign to come over the next nine days.
“I can assure you Assemblyman Auth will never take a $2,500 trip to Cuba paid for by campaign funds,” she said.
Shepisi was part of a group of legislators who used campaign funds to travel to Cuba in 2016, a move that then-Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto and Woodcliff Lake Mayor Carlos Rendo chastised.