Saddle River Councilman John Azzariti won the backing of Passaic County Republicans in his bid for an open State State Assembly seat in the 39th district, along with Assemblyman Robert Auth (R-Old Tappan).
Auth is a strong ally of State Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-Demarest), but will run on the line in Passaic with Cardinale’s GOP primary opponent, Holly Schepisi.
At age 86 and after 42 years in the legislature, Cardinale faces the toughest campaign of his political career against Schepisi, a 49-year-old assemblywoman and his running mate for the last ten years.
Azzariti, who was allied with Schepisi, defeated three other candidates to win the support of Passaic Republicans: Closer Mayor John Glidden, Bloomingdale Councilman Drew Juhlin and Upper Saddle River Councilwoman DeAnne DeFuccio. DeFuccio is a Cardinale ally.
Auth received 19 votes, with 17 going to Azzariti. Glidden, Juhlin and DeFuccio each got one vote.
Appointed to fill a vacancy on the Borough Council in July 2020, Azzariti ran unopposed for a full term last November. He is an anesthesiologist at The Valley Hospital in Ridgewood and the former president of the New Jersey Society of Anesthesiologists.
Bloomingdale, Ringwood and Wanaque, the three municipalities in the 39th, make up about 15% of the Republican primary vote.