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A source described attending a few political events this weekend where conversations were blowing up about the impending retirement of Bergen County Democratic Committee Chairman Lou Stellato.
Based on conversations the source had with principal players in Bergen, his analysis – and keep in mind this is only the take of one insider amid considerable political turbulence – is as follows:
-the Todd Sherer option is out. He realized – or is realizing – he had no chance and will support whoever it is.
-Most Bergen kingmakers don’t want a contested convention because it would turn Bergen into a nasty Hudson/Union type scenario. That can’t happen.
-Stellato was at one point trying to find a neutral candidate because of the factions of Bergen who see Paul Juliano as nothing but a blast from the “broken past.” Plus he is viewed by some as too close to senator Paul Sarlo (aka Sweeney). If Juliano is the guy, parts of Bergen will run someone to make it ugly and avoid Norcross coming to Bergen. That’s the source’s conjecture, but it should be said that this is heavily contradicted by others who see Juliano as closer to Hudson County Senator Nick Sacco. At least one Hudson-based Sacco ally, in fact, was said to be making calls on behalf of Juliano.
-Knowing this dangerous scenario, Stellato at one point felt out giving his support to Bergen Freeholder Thomas Sullivan for the job, but Sullivan declined because he would never have the necessary time for the position, given his union job, Freeholder position, and family life (3 teenage girls). The one major revelation about this, is it makes Sullivan’s status (and by default Labor) to be known as a big player in Bergen. Sources seem to think he gets the nomination for county exec in 2022 after he retires from IBEW, as Tedesco has said many times he’s finished after this term. A source close to Tedesco said that’s true, that the executive could stick around.
-The source said everyone agreed that with Stellato leaving, it signals the death of John Currie as State Chairman.