‘Everybody Knows Jerry’: Speziale Kicks off His Candidacy for Sheriff

HALEDON – With about 100 supporters, many of them union members, cheering him on, Jerry Speziale on Friday officially returned to the turbulent world of Passaic County politics.

The one time county sheriff wants that job again, telling the crowd assembled outside a union hall that, “I’ve spent my life protecting people.”

“Everybody knows Jerry,” said Brian Jackson, president of the Passaic County Building and Construction Trades, and the master of ceremonies for the event.

Being well-known, naturally, is pretty important when it comes to running for office.

The location and the crowd were no accident. Clearly, Speziale wants to appeal to the working class base of the county’s Democratic party.

To that end, he was described as a “working sheriff” for the “working man.”

Speziale already has had a notable career. He was a federal drug enforcement agent before becoming sheriff in 2001.

Later, he worked for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and also has had law enforcement stints in Paterson, as well as Hazleton, Pa. and Pritchard, Alabama.

His job with the Port Authority has upset John Currie, the county’s Democratic chair.

Currie released a statement this week, accusing Speziale of “betraying” the Democratic Party, noting that his Port Authority job was arranged by then-Republican Governor Chris Christie. Currie also accused Speziale of being willing to “dance onstage to YMCA with Donald Trump if he thought it would get him his next elected position.”

Asked about this blistering attack, a spokesperson for Speziale called it “disgusting” and “embarrassing.” His campaign noted that at the time he decided not to run for reelection for sheriff his wife was dying of cancer.

In addressing the crowd. Speziale stressed his embrace of the county’s diverse culture. He said his experience and travels – what he called the “University of Life” – have given him an understanding of different cultures, religions and genders.

He pledged to robustly enforce the law while also protecting and recognizing constitutional rights and civil liberties.

Demonstrating a career-long commitment to such ideals, Speziale said that during about four decades in law enforcement, he has never had any citizen complaints filed against him for abuse or been subject to an internal affairs investigation.

The sheriff’s job in Passaic is available this year after the recent suicide of Sheriff Richard Berdnik.

The focus now is the June Democratic primary.

Besides Speziale, those in the race, or considering a run, are Mason J. Maher, who lost two years ago as a Republican, Glenn Brown, Kevin Dickson and Tommy Adamo.

Potential candidates running on the Speziale slate: Sean Duffy, Derya Taskin, and Michael Eitel.

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3 responses to “‘Everybody Knows Jerry’: Speziale Kicks off His Candidacy for Sheriff”

  1. Yes everyone knows Jerry, which is why no one should vote for him lol doesnt he already have 2 jobs? Guys drug addiction must be running rampant again.

  2. Speziale is a genuine piece of trash. He said he donated that leftover money in his campaign fund when he left mid term as sheriff in 2010 (to go get in bed with chris christie by the way, but jerry claims to be a democrat?) but somehow he has money in his campaign fund? Sounds like another classic Jerry Speziale lie. Just like he lied to his wife who was dying of cancer about where he was all night(with his girlfriend/hookers). He does not deserve any respect as a man let alone Sheriff of our great Passaic County.

  3. That’s some pretty strong accusations. Which leads me to believe you KNOW NOTHING about how Politics actually work.
    As for his personal life? You have NO IDEA what your talking about.
    Get your facts straight.

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