State Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-Demarest) did not participate in a Passaic County Republican screening committee meeting on Saturday, leaving his primary opponent, Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R-River Vale), as the only 39th district State Senate candidate in the room.
Passaic has three municipalities in the 39th – Bloomingdale, Ringwood, and Wanaque – and makes up about 15% of the vote in a GOP primary.
Party bylaws require a candidate to either be present or represented by a surrogate to receive consideration for the organization line. To fulfill that requirement, Assemblyman Robert Auth (R-Old Tappan), spoke on Cardinale’s behalf, the New Jersey Globe has learned.
A GOP leader in the room who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that Schepisi praised the 86-year-old senator for his 42 years in the legislature, but said it was time for new representation.
All five candidates for the two Assembly seats participated in the screening: Closer Mayor John Glidden, Saddle River Councilman John Azzaritti, Bloomingdale Councilman Drew Juhlin and Upper Saddle River Councilwoman DeAnne DeFuccio.
Azzaritti is allied with Schepisi and DeFuccio is running with Cardinale and Auth.
Juhlin is the only Passaic County candidate and the only Republican on the Bloomingdale council. He is also the nephew of Passaic County GOP Chairman Peter Murphy.
The date of the vote to award the organization line has not yet been determined.
Former Pompton Lakes Councilman Christian Barranco, who now lives in Jefferson, appeared before the screening committee in search of support for the 26th district State Assembly seat. He is challenging incumbents Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains) and BettyLou DeCroce (R-Parsippany).