Eight Bergen County Republican mayors in the 39th legislative district have endorsed Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R-River Vale) for State Senate and asked 86-year-old incumbent Gerald Cardinale not to seek re-election after 40 years in the Senate.
The mayors – Ray Arroyo of Westwood, Peter Calamari of Washington, Mike Ghassali of Montvale, John Glidden of Closter, John Kramer of Old Tappan, Al Kurpis of Saddle River, Carlos Rendo of Woodcliff Lake, and James Wysocki of Mahwah – praised Cardinale but urged him to retire from the seat he first won in 1981.
“While we do not make that decision lightly, and certainly do not want to show any disrespect towards you or your service, we feel it’s important to move our party and community in step with rapidly changing times and demographic realities,” the mayors said in a letter to Cardinale. “You have been a tremendous public servant and a steadfast partner in the effort to make New Jersey a great place to live, work, and raise a family. The residents of Bergen County and New Jersey have benefited from your leadership and we are grateful.
But the mayors said it’s time for a change.
“We are at a crossroads in our party and our state,” the eight mayors stated. “With Democrats controlling everything in Trenton and Washington, D.C., we must reflect on bow we got to this point and who is best positioned to lead our party and community in the years ahead.”
The eight mayors told Cardinale that Schepisi, a five-term assemblywoman who is 37 years younger, would be “a strong leader with a proven track record like yours at the top of our ticket.”
“It’s why we have decided to support Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi in her bid to become our next state senator,” they said. “It is our sincerest hope that after some time and reflection, you will join us in supporting Holly and help ensure a unifying transition to a new generation of leadership in our community.
Republican mayors in Emerson, Hillsdale, Ramsey, River Vale and Upper Saddle River were not on the letter.