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State Sen. Holly Schepisi. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Schepisi, Auth, DeFuccio announce 39th district re-election bid

Schepisi has $127k warchest, while assemblymembers have little cash on-hand

By Joey Fox, January 25 2023 3:58 pm

State Sen. Holly Schepisi (R-River Vale), Assemblyman Bob Auth (R-Old Tappan), and Assemblywoman DeAnne DeFuccio (R-Upper Saddle River) today launched their re-election campaign to the 39th legislative district, which covers much of northern Bergen County.

“Every day we wake up and fight to make New Jersey more affordable for families, to keep our streets safe, protect our constitutional rights and to ensure that our kids get the education they deserve,” the trio said in a joint statement. “We are more motivated than ever to serve and should we be reelected, will continue to fight to bring much needed common-sense to Trenton, and fight back against the radical agenda of Phil Murphy and Trenton Democrats.”

The 39th district has grown increasingly Democratic in recent years as its suburban residents shy away from the Republican Party under Donald Trump, but it has still easily re-elected its Republican legislators. In the 2021 general election, Schepisi won 57%-42% in a race that Democrats did not heavily target.

Schepisi and her running mates are favored once again this year; no Democrats have announced their campaigns yet, and both parties are likely to focus on other districts around the state. Schepisi had $127,352 cash-on-hand at the end of 2022; Auth and DeFuccio both had far less at $10,956 and $13,421, respectively. 

The three-member Republican slate had rocky beginnings in 2021, when State Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-Demarest) died and Schepisi, then an assemblywoman, narrowly beat Auth at a special election to succeed him. Schepisi had already been running against Cardinale before he died, and the contest between her and Auth was a chaotic and often bitter one.

Upon reaching the Senate, Schepisi backed two challengers against Auth and DeFuccio, who had won the special convention to take Schepisi’s Assembly seat. But Auth and DeFuccio, running with the organizational line, easily beat them in the Republican primary even as Schepisi was winning her own primary unopposed.

Once the primary was over, Schepisi, Auth, and DeFuccio largely put their differences aside, running as a unified slate for the general election. This year, there’s far less threat of a contentious primary, and all three are likely to be renominated with little fanfare.

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