Home>Local>Bergen>Schepisi takes sides in GOP Assembly primary, backs Azzariti, Kurpis

Saddle River Councilman John Azzariti, left, and former Saddle River Republican Municipal Chairman Jon Kurpis, candidates for State Assembly in the 39th district. (Photo: Azzariti/Kurpis campaign.)

Schepisi takes sides in GOP Assembly primary, backs Azzariti, Kurpis

Republican senator moves to oust incumbents Auth, DeFuccio

By David Wildstein, May 06 2021 6:30 am

State Sen. Holly Schepisi (R-River Vale) is endorsing two challengers for State Assembly against incumbents in the June Republican primary.

Schepisi is backing Saddle River Councilman John Azzariti and former Saddle River GOP Municipal Chairman Jon Kurpis against Bob Auth (R-Old Tappan) and DeAnne DeFuccio (R-Upper Saddle River).

“Having known Dr. John Azzariti and Jonathan Kurpis for many years, I believe they have the vision and experience we need to win in November and move our state in the right direction,” Schepisi said.

Schepisi is unopposed for the GOP Senate nomination.

She began the year challenging 86-year-old State Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-Demarest) in the Republican primary, but his February 20 death put Schepisi and Auth into an especially raucous fight to fill the unexpired term.

Schepisi defeated Auth by eight votes and vacated the Assembly seat she’d held for more than nine years to take her Senate seat in March.

In a special election convention for the vacant Assembly seat, Schepisi backed Azzariti and Auth supported DeFuccio, a councilwoman from Upper Saddle River.  DeFuccio won that race by seven votes.

Schepisi is running on the Bergen County Republican organization line with Auth and DeFuccio, and with Azzariti and Kurpis in Passaic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for all of our families — with loved ones lost, businesses closed, and our children suffering. Sadly, these challenges have been made worse by Governor Murphy’s disastrous executive orders and restrictions,” Schepisi stated. “With so much at stake this November, it’s critical that we have a unified Republican ticket that will put New Jersey families first, advocate for Republican values, and restore common sense in Trenton.”

Azzariti and Kurpis praised Schepisi for “standing up to Governor Murphy’s abuse of power and fighting to reopen our businesses and schools.”

“As members of the State Assembly, we will stand shoulder to shoulder with Senator Schepisi to put New Jersey families first, ensure the health and safety of our residents, and get our economy moving again,” Azzariti and Kurpis said in a statement.

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