The Bobadilla Vaporization: ‘He was Too Smart for the Job’

The hiatus of the political career of Rolando Bobadilla came to pass last night in Newark’s North Ward, where the Essex County Freeholder yielded to the reality of the organization going in another direction.

There has always been a a little bit of a split between the North Ward Democrats. They all come out of the school of Steve adubao, Sr., but then there were those who went into the county corridors of power and grew closer to Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo. There are also cliques within cliques, as Bobadilla –  a staunch loyalist to Adubato – found himself on the outs of that core of rank and file guys glued to North Ward Councilman Anibal Ramos and North Ward Democratic Chair Sammy Gonzalez.

Appointed to the freeholder seat in 2011, Bobadilla was at a disadvantage last year when Steve Adubato’s wife, Fran Adubato, retired her chairmanship to Gonzalez, the wife of state Senator M. Teresa Ruiz, deputy chief of staff to DiVincenzo.

Gonzalez and Ramos this week formally tapped Bobby Mercado to replace him.

One source likened high-tech expert Boabdilla’s political demise to that of former Assemblyman Wilfredo Caraballo, a Seton Hall University Law Professor.

“He was too smart for the job,” the source opined, noting the freeholder’s tendency to formulate his own opinions, develop substantive and resourceful ideas about problems, etc. He didn’t do himself any favors when he entertained the political option of going with Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop in the gubernatorial debacle, at a time when the organization leaded hard toward Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3).

He was also up against a cultural hurdle: as a Honduran American he struggled at times to enmesh himself thoroughly in the North Ward’s fast diminishing in terms of numbers but still politically persuasive Puerto Rican brain trust.

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  • Armando Aviles

    As a Puerto Rican / American I want to express my extreme gratitude to Freeholder Rolando Bobadilla for the honesty and integrity that you have always exemplified. In my over 40 years of community involvement, the last person I met that could equate with you was the great N.J. Assemblyman Michael Adubato who was my mentor when very young. He too fell to the demise of his own party because he was not a conformist. You leave with your head held high and your integrity in tact. There are so many that came before you, and those who are still there, that can not say the same. I am proud to say that you are my friend and I know that we will remain friends. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors and hope to continue to see you active in the community. God be with you, your wife, and your children.

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