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Rick Sabato, President of the Bergen County Building and Construction Trades Council.
Bergen County Building and Construction Trades Council President Rick Sabato

Bergen Building Trades union endorses Schepisi, Corrado, Democrats

Powerful union skips over Calabrese in 36th district

By David Wildstein, June 23 2021 12:20 pm

The Bergen County Building & Construction Trades Council has endorsed two Republican state senators for re-election, along with incumbent Democratic legislators and county officials.

The influential union is backing State Sens. Holly Schepisi (R-River Vale) in the 39th and Kristin Corrado (R-Totowa) in the 40th.  Schepisi, who won a special election in March following the death of 40-year State Sen. Gerald Cardinale, faces Democrat Ruth Dugan.  Corrado, seeing her third term, is being challenged by Michael Sedon, the deputy mayor of Ridgewood.

The union is also backing Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge) and Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic) in the 36th, but did not endorse their running mate, Assemblyman Clinton Calabrese (D-Cliffside Park).

Calabrese was endorsed by the New Jersey AFL-CIO earlier this month.  They had passed over him in 2019.

State Sen. Joseph Lagana (D-Paramus), Assemblywoman Lisa Swain (D-Fair Lawn) and Assemblyman Christopher Tully (D-Bergenfield) have also received the council’s endorsement in their bids for re-election in the 38th district.

In the 37th district, where all three seats are open, the council is backing Gordon Johnson (D-Englewood), the Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore, for State Senate.  The Democratic Assembly candidates, Tenafly Democratic Municipal Chair Shama Haider and former Englewood Cliffs Councilwoman Ellen Park, were also endorsed by the Bergen County Building & Construction Trades Council.

“All of these candidates are committed to supporting the economic development initiatives that keep Bergen County moving forward and we need this type of vision and leadership now, more than ever,” said Rick Sabato, the council president.

In addition to Calabrese, Sabato’s organization did not take sides in four Assembly races with Republican incumbents: Bob Auth (R-Old Tappan) and DeAnne DeFuccio (R-Upper Saddle River) in the 39th; and Christopher DePhillips (R-Wyckoff) and Kevin Rooney (R-Wyckoff) in the 40th.

The powerful labor group has also endorsed re-election bids of County Clerk John Hogan, Sheriff Anthony Cureton, Surrogate Michael Dressler, and County Commissioners Steven Tanelli and Tracey Silna Zur.

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