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Whenever a player muscles up in terms of influence, people outside his immediate circle and beyond want to know who nibbles on his ear in the political world and who influences him. They want to know, for example, who among that vast network of characters carries weight in the world of someone like Bergen County Democratic Committee Chairman Paul Juliano.
Juliano formally assumed the chairmanship of the party this summer in the wake of the retirement of veteran Party Chairman Lou Stellato, who enjoyed a successful countywide reign going back to 2011 when he first took command of the party.
Juliano, sources tell InsiderNJ, depends in part on the following people:
Former Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli.
He’s a friend. A good friend, of the new chairman from Woodcliff Lake, who in his day job serves as the head of public works in blue-collar Fairview.
Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich.
They’re close, sources say.
Cliffside Park Mayor Thomas Calabrese (maybe even more so Gerry Calabrese).
He’s another key friend of Juliano, and political confidant.
Then there’s the North Bergen connection.
One source says he’s friendly with Hudson County Democratic Party operative Joey Muniz.
A second source told InsiderNJ that Juliano has a closer relationship with Muniz’s godfather, state Senator Nick Sacco (D-32).
In any case, the new Bergen County Democratic chairman talks to both of them – and listens.
“He listens to a lot of people,” one of the sources said.
Others include Lynne Hurwitz, Bernadette McPherson and Joe Rutch.
On Trenton and state policy issues, he’s going to go directly to Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37), Senator Paul Sarlo (D-36), and senator Joe Lagana (D-38).
he has the connection to Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37), in part as a consequence of overlapping North Bergen roots.
And then Juliano is also close to Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-36), whose Passaic City home base don’t prevent him from continuing to have a strong Bergen footprint in the Juliano era.
There are others (Adam Silverstein, minder for Stellato, is still around, but probably without the broad, chairman-centric range he had during the tenure of the former chair).
Ultimately, like Stellato before him, for whom Juliano served as emcee at events, “He’s his own decision-maker,” one of the sources said.
Critically, it remains to be seen if the new chairman, with a fight for the state chairmanship of the party on the bubble, will project himself into state politics more than Stellato, who dominated Bergen and turned the county into a Democratic Party stronghold.
- Adam Silverstein
- Bergen County
- Bergen County Democrats
- Bernadette McPherson
- Bill Pascrell
- Cliffisde Park
- Gary Schaer
- Gerry Calabrese
- Joe Lagana
- Joe Rutch
- Joey Muniz
- John Molinelli
- Josh Gottheimer
- Loretta Weinberg
- Lou Stellato
- Lynne Hurwitz
- Mark Sokolich
- Nick Sacco
- Paul Juliano
- Paul Sarlo
- Phil Murphy
- Teaneck Democrats
- Thomas Calabrese
- Valerie Vainieri Huttle
- Woodcliff Lake
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