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Bergen County Republican Chairman Jack Zisa

Bergen Republicans postpone convention

New date pending changes to June primaries

By Nikita Biryukov, March 17 2020 7:54 pm

Bergen County Republican Chairman Jack Zisa postponed his organization’s convention Tuesday, citing the threat posed by COVID-19.

A new convention has not been scheduled and won’t be until it becomes clear what changes Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration imposes on the June primaries.

“We’re waiting for some direction from the state as to whether they’re going to push back the primary or not,” Zisa said. “Hopefully we’ll know definitely and that will eliminate one possibility.”

Zisa said the committee could convene in April if the primary is delayed by four to six weeks, though it’s not clear that the threat posed by the novel coronavirus will have passed by next month.

Under recommendations from health officials, the state has barred gatherings of more than 50 people. The Bergen County Republican Organization has roughly 1,100 voting members.

State and county elections officials will hold a conference call on June’s elections Wednesday, and Murphy has said he expects to make a decision on races occurring in the next three months sometime this week.

“We’re weighing out a couple of options,” Zisa said. “Hopefully within the next 24 to 48 hours we should have some answers and have more direction.”

Bergen County Democrats cancelled their convention and held an electronic vote to award the organizational line.

Zisa said he didn’t think that solution would work for the BCRO, whose bylaws require it hold a convention to award the line before filing day, which is March 31.

“They’ve got the money to do things a little differently than we do,” he said. “I don’t believe we’ll be able to use the same process.”

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