One of the unintended consequences when Bergen County Democrats shuffled their 38th district legislative delegation is that the move could help Passaic County Republicans hold on to the County Clerk’s post.
When State Sen. Bob Gordon moved to the state Board of Public Utilities, Assemblyman Joseph Lagana was named to the State Senate. Then Tim Eustace, who wanted the Senate seat, took a job at the North Jersey District Water Commission. That created two open Assembly seats.
As a result of those moves, there are special elections for all three seats in November. Republicans are not really contesting those races, at least not this year.
But because District 38 includes Hawthorne in Passaic County, the move leaves three blank spaces between the Democratic candidates for Congress — either Bill Pascrell or Mikie Sherrill – and the candidates for County Clerk.
In most of Passaic County, the ballot reads: U.S. Senate, Congress, blank, blank, blank, County Clerk and Freeholder. The presence of the dead space on the ballot potentially negates the coattails of Pascrell, although there is no data to back that up.
In the City of Passaic, there is a special election for Assembly, where Clinton Calabrese is seeking the seat Marlene Caride have up to be state Banking and Insurance Commissioner. In Clifton, Britnee Timberlake is running for the unexpired term of Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver.
But in the rest of the county, there’s a lot of dead space on the ballot.
That’s potentially good news for Peter Murphy, who won back the Passaic County GOP chair after a seventeen year absence. Murphy wants to keep the seat held for nearly a decade by Republican Kristin Corrado until her election to the State Senate last year.
The GOP has nominated Ronald Fava, who has served as an Assemblyman, Passaic County Prosecutor, and acting Passaic County Sheriff. Democrats are running Danielle Ireland Imhof, the Prospect Park business administrator.