Ready for His Statewide Close-Up: Parano and the Big GOTV Push for Phil Murphy

NEWARK – Like nomads from all corners of the state, they came through the bubbled catwalks and up the escalators, insiders affiliated with the Phil Murphy for Governor Campaign here on Friday to huddle-up for a GOTV meeting ahead of June 6th.

Among them, the cowboy booted Dave Parano of Bergen County could be seen in the hallway at One Gateway Center.

Kevin Drennan – executive director of the senate Majority Office – appeared, among others.

They passed the see-through NJTV studio on their way in to the chalk talk for Murphy.

Parano’s in charge of the get out the vote operation for the Democratic front-runner and it’s his vision that will abide on June 6th, according to sources close to the GOTV animal. In a word, Parano specializes in bodies, one source said.

“Dave believes in pressing the flesh – retail politics,” the source said of the veteran Democratic operative from Bergen County who cut his political teeth in the vineyards of Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37) . “He’s old school, which means a lot of bodies in the streets.”

Arguably Parano’s most storied win was the 2012 Democratic Primary for Bill Pascrell.

There are Parano diehards this time who fear that his best efforts won’t create Election Day excitement for Murphy, a retired Goldman Sachs executive and former U.S. Ambassador to Germany, and fear his taking the blame if the Murphy Campaign doesn’t produce better than a moribund showing. But then again, none of them worries that Murphy won’t win big.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one source said, “Dave has established himself as the kind of person you want on your side because you know you can trust him and you know he is working hard whether you’re up by 10, or down by 10. He’s built relationships with people on the ground doing the work all over the state so he’s got the ability to adjust targets and factor in the extenuating circumstances that arise in any campaign, on the fly.

“For someone who has been doing this for such a long time, on all levels from local to state-wide campaigns, Dave brings very little ego to the process,” the source added. “In a campaign environment where internal politics and outside second-guessing can sometimes be the norm, Dave’s focus always remains on the candidate, the goals and doing the work needed to win.”
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