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Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson). (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Booker, Pascrell unopposed at Bergen Dem convention

Kreibich will challenge Gottheimer for organization line

By David Wildstein, February 21 2020 6:30 pm

Two progressives challenging Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-Paterson) in the Democratic primary did not file petitions to compete for the endorsement of the Bergen County Democrats, assuring the 12-term congressman the organization line in his bid for re-election.

Zina Spezakis and Alp Basaran did not file before today’s 4:30 PM deadline to be on the ballot at next month’s convention.  Spezakis told the New Jersey Globe earlier this week that she though the system of winning organization lines was rigged.

In the 5th district, Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) will face a convention vote against his primary opponent, Glen Rock councilwoman Arati Kreibich.

U.S. Senator Cory Booker will run unopposed for the nomination.  His primary challenger, former Newark school board member Lawrence Hamm, did not file a letter of intent.


Three candidates filed for two seats on the Bergen County Board of Freeholders: incumbent Joan Voss, Ridgewood Mayor Ramon Hache, and former Teaneck school board member Shahanaz Arjumand.

Freeholder David Ganz, who was first elected in 2002, is not seeking re-election to a 7th term.

Hache has emerged as the leading candidate to run with Voss.

In the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, only Pete Buttigieg filed a letter of intent to compete for the organization line.

The convention rules do not require candidates for president to file letters of intent, and county chairman Paul Juliano is expected to place all the major contenders on the convention ballot.

It’s not certain that Bergen Democrats will vote on presidential candidates at all.

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez proposed eliminating the organization line in the race for president last night.

Since then, the Menendez Plan has generated considerable support.

Bergen County Democratic by-laws are silent on the issue of presidential campaigns, essentially giving Juliano the freedom to make the call.

Text message seeking support from Bergen County freeholder candidate Shahanaz Arjumand.
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