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North Arlington Mayor Joseph Bianchi, who died in office on October 10, 2018. (Photo: Borough of North Arlington.)

Bergen switches Judges in North Arlington case

Mayor died after voting started; GOP trying to switch candidates

By David Wildstein, October 22 2018 10:25 am

There has been a change of judges in the dispute over changing mayoral candidates in North Arlington when the Republican mayor died after voting had already commenced.

Instead of Robert Wilson, Estela De La Cruz will preside over a hearing to decide if Republicans will be able to replace Joseph Bianchi, who passed away on October 10, with Councilman Dan Pronti.

The hearing in Hackensack began at 9 AM this morning.  Subpoenas were issued to all twenty members of the Republican county committee, although it is not immediately clear how many were served and how many will appear in Judge De La Cruz’s courtroom today.

On Friday, a state appellate court judge Wilson’s order to allow Republicans to switch their candidates.

Vote-by-mail ballots had already been mailed, and some voters had already cast their votes using a ballot that had Bianchi’s name.

Among the issues: Republican Municipal Chairman John Bratowicz said that he held a county committee meeting to pick a replacement candidate, but the vice chair, Barbara Kaiser, submitted an affidavit saying that no meeting was held.

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