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The Passaic County Courthouse in Paterson, New Jersey.

Passaic Dems pick Cassanova for Surrogate

By David Wildstein, March 06 2021 12:30 pm

Passaic County Democrats picked Zoila S. Cassanova, a Wayne resident who works as an attorney for the New York Supreme Court Criminal Division in Queens and the Bronx, as their candidate for Surrogate.

Cassanova defeated Haledon Councilwoman Aleksandra Tasic, Paterson Municipal Court Judge Dawn Blakely Harper, and Franklin Montero, an attorney from Passaic, at a vote of the Democratic screening committee on Saturday.

Passaic County Surrogate Bernice Toledo is not seeking re-election to a third term.

“We look forward to welcoming Zoila and her skill-set to our Democratic family,” said Passaic County Democratic Chairman John Currie.   “We look forward to engaging with Democrats throughout Passaic County as we head into primary election season.”

Democrats are also supporting incumbent Passaic County Commissioners Sandi Lazzara, John Bartlett and Assad Akhter for re-election.

“We are proud of the important work being done by county elected officials during the global pandemic. While admittedly there is still work to do before things can go back to normal, Passaic County remains a leader throughout the state in testing, tracing and vaccinating residents,” Currie said.  “Commissioners Sandi Lazzara, John Bartlett and Assad Akhter have proven they have what it takes to lead during difficult times, and they deserve our full support for re-election.”

If Cassanova wins the Democratic primary, she’ll be the heavy favorite to win a five-year term as surrogate.  Republicans have not won a countywide election in Passaic County since 2009.

Toledo became surrogate following the death of William J. Bate.

This story was updated at 1:57 PM with comment from Currie.

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