Nick DeGregorio is the official choice of Bergen County Republicans to challenge Josh Gottheimer this fall. That’s a big deal because the new map does away with Warren County and puts more of CD-5 in Bergen.
But it doesn’t mean DeGregorio can take the next two-plus months off.
At least two of the three candidates who lost last week’s Bergen convention, Frank Pallotta and Fred Schneiderman, are not going anywhere.
Pallotta, especially, is continuing to attack, claiming that the convention was “rigged.”
He doesn’t necessarily mean that sinister forces manipulated the count. Pallotta’s point is that the county committee convention is a home for “pay-for-play corrupt politics.”
Pallotta wants to run against Gottheimer, but he’s not happy with the GOP establishment either. He says his campaign includes people not intimidated by “party bosses.” He added that he wants to rid the party of those “who continue the way of politics as usual where party support can be bought and sold.”
The DeGregorio campaign declined to respond to Pallotta’s accusation of corruption. DeGregorio has used his campaign Facebook page to celebrate his win and to thank the supporters and volunteers who he said made it happen.
Schneiderman’s post-convention comments have been less strident than Pallotta’s, but he’s not happy with the process either.
“There was no opportunity for people to really understand the differences between the candidates,” he said in an interview last week.
Schneiderman said candidates only had three minutes to speak and that there was no following question-and-answer session.
He was a distant third at the convention, but Schneiderman is undaunted.
Noting that Pallotta had a chance to beat Gottheimer two years ago, Schneiderman said, “I’m a fresh
face. I think I’m the best candidate.”
Schneiderman also thinks he has the best team of consultants, a group that includes Kellyanne Conway, of Trump White House fame.
One of the stated-reasons for county endorsements and the convention system is that it avoids contentious primaries.
Probably not in this case.