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Bergen County Democratic Chairman Paul Juliano, left, and Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo: Bergen County Democratic Organization).

Juliano headed to top Sports Authority post as Prieto successor

Bergen County Democratic Chairman will remain as county chairman while holding NJSEA position

By David Wildstein, February 16 2023 2:48 pm

Bergen County Democratic Chairman Paul Juliano will replace Vincent Prieto as president and CEO of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority within the next few months, the New Jersey Globe has confirmed.

He will assume the post with the support of Gov. Phil Murphy.  Juliano and Murphy have become strong political allies since he became county chairman in 2019.

Juliano will remain as county chairman and plans to seek re-election next year.

Murphy picked Prieto to lead the authority in early 2018 as a consolation prize after Assembly Democrats replaced him as Speaker and instead chose Craig Coughlin.   The original deal was for Prieto to hold the position for three years; he has now been there for five.

Initially, the plan is for Juliano to join the authority as executive vice president and then move into Prieto’s post after a few months of a leadership transition.   Prieto will leave the NJSEA after that.

Juliano, a career government administrator, was elected county chairman after Louis Stellato was appointed to serve as an NJSEA commissioner.  He will step aside from his role as Fairview’s public works director by working at the sports authority.

Wayne Hasenbalg, a former deputy chief of staff to Gov. Chris Christie, had been president and CEO prior to Prieto getting the job.

The NJSEA oversees the Meadowlands complex, although a joint venture between the two NFL teams that play at MetLife Stadium, the Giants and the Jets, operates the stadium.

Prieto was elected to the State Assembly from a Hudson County district in 2004 and served there until his resignation in 2018.  He spent four years as Assembly Speaker and is a former Hudson County Democratic Chairman.

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