Home>Feature>Auth, DeFuccio on the ballot; Sweeney primary opponent gone

Senate President Steve Sweeney. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Auth, DeFuccio on the ballot; Sweeney primary opponent gone

Mysterious Sarlo challenger somehow emerges after the filing deadline passed

By David Wildstein, April 07 2021 12:18 am

The New Jersey Division of Elections has included Assemblyman Bob Auth (R-Old Tappan) and Assemblywoman-elect DeAnne DeFuccio (R-Upper Saddle River) on an unofficial list of candidates for the June Republican primary in the 39th district.

But just one set of petitions — the ones specifying the GOP primary — has been approved, leaving Auth and DeFuccio with 105 signatures, just five more than legally required.  Additional signatures were obtained on general election petitions and it’s not immediately clear if those can be corrected. 

It will be up to two other candidates — Saddle River Councilman John Azzariti and former Saddle River Republican Municipal Chairman Jon Kurpis — to decide if they want to mount a legal challenge to prevent Auth and DeFuccio from appearing on the ballot.

Senate President Steve Sweeney will not face a primary challenge after all. 

Mario DeSantis, a 32-year-old teacher and guitarist from Glassboro, filed petitions to run against Sweeney in the 3rd district Democratic primary but his petitions did not make it past a review by the Division of Elections.

Also off the ballot: two Republican challengers in the 38th district against incumbents Christopher Tully (D-Bergenfield) and Lisa Swain (D-Fair Lawn). 

Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee Chairman Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge) had no general election opponent for more than six hours after the filing deadline, so it’s not immediately clear how Republican Chris Auriemma suddenly made his way onto an unofficial candidate list.

Auriemma, an Army veteran from Lyndhurst, won 2% of the vote as an independent candidate for Congress against Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) in 2020.

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