Adam Alonso, the deputy chief of staff to Gov. Phil Murphy, will remain on the governor’s staff and not run for Bergen County Democratic Chairman.
The incumbent, Louis Stellato, will remain as chairman and is expected to seek re-election to another two-year term in June.
After word of Alonso’s prospective candidacy spread late Friday – and talk that Stellato was being offered a seat on the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority – the top Murphy aide has now adjusted his position. Alonso has told people there is no end in sight for his service in government and that he has shared that opinion with Murphy and chief of staff Pete Cammarano.
The Murphy administration had been discussing possible opportunities with Stellato, who has presided over unprecedented success for Bergen County Democrats since taking office in 2011. While Alonso was the top player in those talks, he never formally entered the race to succeed Stellato should a vacancy occur.
It now seems clear that any plan to run for county chairman is over for now, as Alonso focuses on Murphy’s own agenda.
“Governor Murphy was elected with a simple mandate: to make New Jersey a stronger and fairer place for all of our residents, and to change the culture of Trenton,” Alonso told the New Jersey Globe. “I look forward to continuing to work with the Governor and our team as we present his budget to the people of New Jersey, engage with communities throughout every part of our state, and build a responsive administration that works for our residents and not the failed special interests.”
Cammarano made it clear that Alonso remains a key player in the Murphy administration.
“Governor Murphy campaigned on a vision of building a stronger and fairer New Jersey, and Adam Alonso is a critical member of the team that will make that vision a reality. We are lucky to have him serving our state,” Cammarano told the New Jersey Globe.
Stellato could still get an appointment – his desire to serve on the Sports Authority is well known – but reports of the Stellato-for-Alonso switch created a backlash in Bergen that will create an obvious delay on any Bergen deal. As one insider noted, Bob Yudin concurrently on the Sports Authority and as Bergen County Republican Chairman, and LeRoy Jones did the same while serving as Essex County Democratic Chairman.