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Bergen County Democratic Chairman Louis Stellato

Stellato nomination won’t move today

Bergen Dem chairman still doesn’t have signoff from local Senators

By David Wildstein, May 13 2019 9:51 am

The nomination of Bergen County Democratic chairman Louis Stellato to serve on the Sports and Exposition Authority has stalled after a weekend of negotiations failed to solve residency issues, the New Jersey Globe has learned.

Stellato is insistent that he still resides in Bergen County and has refused to change his address to a home he owns in Passaic County.  That gives State Sen. Gerald Cardinale (R-Demarest) senatorial courtesy over Stellato, so his nomination cannot advance without the Republican senator signing off.

“I really don’t know where he lives,” Cardinale told the Globe last week.  “That needs to be answered.”

Cardinale has been a longtime advocate of residency integrity for gubernatorial nominees.

“It would be very simple for him to change his status and the questions would be erased,” the twelve-term senator said.

Sources around the Senate Judiciary Committee say that Stellato was offered a chance to change his residency as part of a plan that would allow the panel to consider his nomination today, but he refused.  

A plan to switch Stellato’s nomination from the seat currently held by former Bergen County Republican chairman Robert Yudin to another slot was also considered, the sources said, but that still did not result in a signoff.

Stellato will not resign as county chairman without Senate confirmation to the Sports Authority.  Bergen Democrats had been planning a special election next month to replace him.

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