Former Bergen County Freeholder John Felice is receiving strong encouragement to take on State Sen. Joseph Lagana (D-Paramus) in the November special election for in the 38th district.
“He is my personal first choice,” said District 38 Republican Chairman James Arakelian, noting that Felice has not yet decided on the race.
Arakelian says that Fair Lawn Deputy Mayor John Cosgrove, viewed as one of the strongest potential Senate candidates on the Republican side, has ruled out running in 2018. Cosgrove has had some recent health issues and told him family he would not run in order to concentrate on his full recovery.
Both 38th district Assembly seats will also be up for grabs in November. Democrats are expected to pick Bergenfield Council President Arvin Amatorio to replace Lagana, and Fair Lawn Mayor Lisa Swain to replace Assemblyman Tim Eustace, who is resigning to become deputy executive director of the North Jersey Water Commission.
Republicans have picked their Assembly candidates either. Possible contenders include Hasbrouck Heights Mayor Jack DeLorenzo, former Fair Lawn Councilwoman Amy Lefkowitz, and Ron Kistner, the former director of the Bergen County Parks Department.
Felice was elected freeholder in 2010 and re-elected in 2013 but did not seek re-election to a third term two years ago. He is a former River Edge councilman.
His father, former Fair Lawn Mayor Nicholas Felice, was a popular Bergen County Assemblyman from 1982 until 2001, when redistricting pushed him into a new legislative district.