Political War Brewing Among 40th District Republicans

This is source I found from another site, main source you can find in last paragraph

Bergen County Republican chairman Paul DiGaetano, who is running for state Senate in the 40th District.(Photo: Marko Georgiev/NorthJersey.com)

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The primary season has turned into a political war among Republicans in the 40th Legislative District, where Bergen County Republican chairman Paul DiGaetano is attempting to walk the fine line between being a candidate and a party leader as he tries to beat back an insurgency that threatens to stop his political comeback.

DiGaetano, a former seven-term assemblyman who took over as Bergen County chairman last year, has entered the primary and is seeking the state Senate seat being vacated by Kevin J. O'Toole of Cedar Grove. But first he must get by Kristin Corrado, the Passaic County clerk who has O'Toole's endorsement and the backing of Peter Murphy, the GOP boss from Totowa.

Also in the race is Edward Buttimore of Cedar Grove, a retired investigator with the state Attorney General's Office who is working a grass-roots campaign.

All three are seeking endorsements of the Republican organizations in Bergen and Passaic counties, and the coveted "A" line position on the primary ballot. The A line is considered a huge advantage in primaries, given that turnout is usually low and a large portion of the people who do vote are active party members.

The Passaic County Regular Republican Organization endorses candidates for the Legislature by a vote of the county committee. But in Bergen County, it's the purview of the party chairman.

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Christopher DePhillips, Kristin Corrado and Kevin Rooney are challenging Paul DiGaetano's leadership in the 40th Legislative District. (Photo: File photo)

That has created a big political problem for DiGaetano who, as chairman, has the power to appoint himself to the A line, but would then suffer the political fallout for using his power to help his own candidacy. DiGaetano unseated Bob Yudin as chairman last year, dividing the party, and through that fissure came an insurgent ticket topped by Corrado but featuring two Wyckoff politicos loyal to Yudin — Kevin Rooney and Christopher DePhillips — running for Assembly.

This week, the Corrado ticket turned up the heat when it called on DiGaetano to allow for a convention of committee members from the seven Bergen County towns in the 40th District to decide who gets the A line. Those towns are Allendale, Franklin Lakes, Ho-Ho-Kus, Midland Park, Ridgewood, Waldwick and Wyckoff.

DePhillips said its only fair to let the county committee members from the 40th District select who gets the A line.

“The fact that Paul is a candidate in District 40, we believe it makes sense for him to defer to the county committee members in that district," DePhillips said.

DePhillips said there is a precedent for a convention. District 39, which is represented by Sen. Gerald Cardinale, a Republican from Demarest, has held them in the past and will hold one this year, he said. Cardinale is being challenged by John McCann, an attorney from Oakland.

DiGaetano rejects the idea, and said there is nothing in the bylaws to allow for district conventions. He said there's been contentious primaries in the 40th District before, but the party chairman always selected the candidate for the A line.

>DiGaetano announces bid for 40th District state Senate seat

>Republicans pick Kevin Rooney to fill Assembly seat

>DiGaetano hopes to unify Bergen County Republicans for fall race

"I’ve been a member of the BCRO for 32 years," DiGaetano said, using the initials for the Bergen County Republican Organization, "and in those 32 years there has never been a convention in District 40 to determine who gets the party line. In fact, the last two times when there were serious challenges [for seats in the Legislature], the prior chairmen awarded the line. One was Bob Yudin, the other was Guy Talerico."

DiGaetano said the BCRO selects candidates in one of two ways. Candidates for countywide office — clerk, freeholder and surrogate — are selected by a vote of the entire county committee. Candidates for state office are selected by the chairman, he said.

"There is no provision in the BCRO bylaws that a convention of the seven towns in the 40th District or any other district is binding on the BCRO," DiGaetano said. "The only convention that is binding is a convention by the entire BCRO, one that includes all the members of the county committee," which numbers about 1,100 people.

DiGaetano said he won't appoint himself to the A line in the 40th District. As a compromise, he suggests allowing a 15-member committee to make the decision. This executive committee would consist of the seven municipal leaders from the 40th District, plus eight members of the party's executive committee. DiGaetano, who as party chairman is a member of the executive committee, would recuse himself, he said.

DePhillips agreed that selecting candidates for countywide offices should be left up to the full county committee. But picking candidates for state legislative offices should be left only to the county committee members from those districts.

“We also believe that it only makes sense to have countywide conventions for countywide seats, such as clerk, freeholder and surrogate," DePhillips said. "But it doesn’t make sense to have a countywide convention for a legislative district that only includes seven Bergen County towns. We think it makes the most sense to have the county committee members in those seven towns make the decision.”

The endorsements need to be made by April 3, which is the deadline for the county clerk to receive names for the ballot. The Passaic County Regular Republican Organization is scheduled to meet on March 11 to make its endorsements. The BCRO has yet to schedule a meeting.

Although the 40th District also covers parts of Essex and Morris counties, more than 80 percent of the population is in Bergen and Passaic.

This is source I found from another site, main source you can find in last paragraph

Source : http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/local/2017/03/02/political-war-brewing-among-40th-district-republicans/98610108/

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