The political comeback of John McCann is complete.
The former two-time GOP congressional candidate was appointed to fill a vacant seat on the Oakland Borough Council last week, putting him in an elite class of individuals who have held local office in multiple New Jersey municipalities.
He served as a Cresskill councilman from 2000 to 2006.
McCann replaces Grant Van Eck, a 37-year-old Republican who resigned last month because he was moving to Bridgewater.
The borough councilman picked McCann to fill the remaining six months of Van Eck’s term over two other names submitted by the Oakland Republican County Committee: Kerri DeMaddalena Sirinides, a health insurance claims coordinator who is challenging McCann in next week’s Republican primary; and Frank Di Pentima, a former councilman.
McCann is running on the Bergen County GOP organization line with incumbent Kevin Slasinski. They face Sirinides and Carol Ann Rose, who are running in the June 7 Republican primary under the “Republicans for Oakland Families” banner.
The winners of the primary will face Democrats Andrea Levy and Jo-Ann Ashkenazi.
McCann defeated former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan in the 2018 Republican primary for Congress in New Jersey’s 5th district by a 53%-47% margin, but he lost the general election to freshman Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) by fourteen percentage point. McCann ought a rematch with Gottheimer in 2020 but lost the GOP primary by 19 points to investment banker Frank Pallotta.
Oakland is a reliably Republican municipality that backed Donald Trump for president in 2020 and gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli in 2021. But the three-term mayor, Linda Schwager, is a Democrat.