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Republican congressional candidate John McCann. Photo by Nikita Biryukov for the New Jersey Globe.

Bergen GOP panel recommends McCann, Prempeh for Congress, Mehta for Senate

By David Wildstein, March 11 2020 9:34 pm

The Bergen County Republican Policy Committee is recommending John McCann to have the organization line for Congress in the 5th district.

McCann won 27 votes of party leaders who act as a screening committee, with 17 votes for investment banker Frank Pallotta and 16 for Montvale mayor Michael Ghassali in the race to pick an opponent for Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff).

A former Cresskill councilman, McCann  is making his second bid to unseat Gottheimer.  He lost by 41,291 votes, 56%-42%, in 2018.

McCann won the nomination two years ago after defeating former Bogota mayor Steve Lonegan in the GOP primary by 1,918 votes, 53%-47%.

Pallotta is running on the line in Passaic.  Sussex has no line, although all five freeholders are backing Pallotta.  Warren has not yet picked a candidate.

The full Bergen County Republican convention is scheduled for March 23.

The county chairman, Jack Zisa, told the New Jersey Globe today that he has no plans to cancel the vote.  Citing the coronavirus, Bergen Democrats announced tonight that they had cancelled Thursday’s convention and instead will vote online.

In the race for U.S. Senate, the policy committee voted 41 to 12 to back former U.S. Food and Drug Administration official Rik Mehta over Hirsh Singh to run for the U.S. Senate.

Mehta has won organization lines in 12 counties, but Ocean County has endorsed Singh.

U.S. Air Force veteran Billy Prempeh defeated Bergen County Young Republican vice chairman Tom Walsh as the suggested candidate to take on Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) in the 9th district.

He beat Walsh by a narrow 32 to 26 vote.

Prempeh has the organization line in Passaic County and Walsh has it in Hudson.

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