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Bergen County Democratic Chairman Paul Juliano and Gov. Phil Murphy. (Photo by Nikita Biryukov)

Juliano resigns from Horizon board, opening up seat for Caputo

Bergen County Democratic leader moving to top Sports Authority post

By David Wildstein, February 25 2023 9:05 pm

Bergen County Democratic Chairman Paul Juliano has resigned his seat on the Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey Board of Directors, effective March 3.

Juliano is joining the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority as president and CEO, replacing Vincent Prieto, a former Assembly Speaker.

His resignation will allow Gov. Phil Murphy to nominate Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Nutley) to the $82,000-a-year Horizon board seat, which will trigger a resignation from his 28th legislative district once the Senate confirms him.

Caputo’s move to the Horizon BCBSNJ board will end a career in the New Jersey Legislature that began when he was 26-years-old and elected a Republican from Newark’s North Ward in 1967.  He left the Assembly four years later and returned after winning the election as a Democrat in 2007.

Redistricting moved Caputo into the new 34th district next year, with Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake (D-East Orange) likely to move to the Senate.  Essex County Democrats are expected to run Bloomfield Mayor Michael Venezia and Carmen T. Morales, the principal of Essex Tech High School, for the Assembly.

Juliano was renominated to the Horizon board in December and was quickly confirmed by the State Senate.  His term expires on November 1, 2025.  He is also taking a leave of absence from his post as the Fairview public works director while working at the Sports Authority.

He will continue to serve as county chairman and plans to run again next year.

Murphy’s nominations of former State Sen. Christopher Bateman (R-Branchburg) and former New Jersey Democratic State Committee treasurer Kelly Maer to the Horizon BCBSNJ board have also been approved by the Senate, but former New Jersey CWA state director Hetty Rosenstein is still awaiting confirmation.

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