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Palisades Park Councilman Jae Park. (Photo: Borough of Palisades Park).

Palisades Park councilman bolts Democrats, joins GOP

Jae Park’s party switch is latest blow to Lorenzo regime

By David Wildstein, October 26 2022 7:52 pm

A Democratic councilman in Palisades Park is switching parties in protest of the treatment of Republican Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Stephanie Jang by the local party boss, borough administrator David Lorenzo.

The switch of Jae K. Park still leaves the borough council with a 4-2 Democratic majority, but gives the GOP an opportunity to take control of the council in the November 8 general election.

“I have come to realize that the Democratic Party in Palisades Park is under the complete control of an elitist group of individuals who put their own self-interests before the interests and well-being of the residents of Palisades Park,” Park said.  “I am appalled that a political operative would bring such a baseless claim against Stefanie Jang on behalf of the Palisades Park democratic party to get an advantage in the Mayoral election.”

Park said he’s tired of the Democratic establishment launching a “frivolous investigation” against Jung, a nod to a citizen complaint Lorenzo filed alleging that Jung improperly assisted senior citizens in filling out vote-by-mail ballots two years ago.  

“I will not tolerate or be a member of a Democratic Party that will do whatever they can to hurt and destroy any individual including members of their family, who disagree with them,” Park stated.  “The division and wasteful spending by the Democratic Party in Palisades Park has got to be stopped.”

Park also cited allegations of mismanagement of the local police department, and increases in tax and fees “year after year.”

Earlier this year, the local Democratic organization declined to support Mayor Christopher Chung for re-election, and instead gave the organization line to Paul Kim.  Kim defeated Chung in the Democratic primary.

But a deeply divided local Democratic Party, fueled in part by Lorenzo, appears to give Republicans a chance to take control.  Jung won a council seat in the Democratic town last year, ousting an incumbent.  If she and her running mate win next month, with Kim and whomever Republicans put up to replace Jung on the council, Republicans will be positioned for a full takeover and the ouster of Lorenzo.  

“I believe the Republican Party will provide more opportunities for the residents of Palisades Park as well as the residents of Bergen County,” Park said.  “The Republican Party’s vision of family values, better education and putting an end to wasteful spending, will improve the quality (of) life for each and every resident of Palisades Park and Bergen County.

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