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Bergen County Democratic Chairman Paul Juliano and Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo by Nikita Biryukov)

Sweeney will let Juliano nomination move forward

Bergen Democratic Chairman set for hearing, possible confirmation vote on Thursday

By David Wildstein, July 28 2020 4:51 pm

Senate President Steve Sweeney has released the nomination of Bergen County Democratic Chairman Paul Juliano to the Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey Board of Directors, setting the stage for a swift confirmation process.

Juliano is expected to be on the agenda for the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday morning, and could get a confirmation vote by the full Senate as early as Thursday afternoon, the New Jersey Globe has learned.

The senate president met with Juliano and the Bergen County Democratic senators for lunch at Patsy’s in Fairview on Monday, according to several sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Sweeney walked away with an agreement to move forward on Juliano’s nomination, but without any commitments from Bergen County for his own re-election to the senate presidency.

They agreed to build a relationship, but with no strings attached to the Horizon nomination, the Globe was told.

Gov. Phil Murphy nominated Juliano to replace Michele Brown, a former top aide to Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

Christie has been pushing for Brown to keep the job as a holdover, something that occurs only if the State Senate declines to confirm Juliano.

The often-controversial Brown, a former federal prosecutor, came after Christie withdrew her nomination to a Superior Court judgeship during his final year as governor.

Brown has served as Christie’s appointments counsel, as the CEO of the Economic Development Authority, and later as the $450,000-a-year CEO of Choose New Jersey, a privately-funded group formed by Christie allies to help attract new businesses to the state.

In addition to her $76,000-a-year Horizon board post, Brown is the executive director of the non-profit Christie Institute for Public Policy

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