PARAMUS – NAACP local chapter head Anthony Cureton – a retired detective sergeant from Englewood who worked in the sheriff’s office here – tonight scored the nomination of the Bergen County Democratic Committee to run for sheriff in the Nov. 6th election.
It was also a win for Bergen County Democratic Committee Chairman Lou Stellato, who publicly backed Cureton and helped corral the support of bigwigs like U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez.
The rough tally was 418 Cureton to 111 Saddle Brook Police Chief Robert Kugler.
Cureton will run for a three-year term in the Nov. 6th election.
The GOP last night formally put up Hasbrouck Heights Mayor Jack DeLorenzo.
Denied party support tonight, Kugler plans to run as an independent.
Cureton won the support of Bergen Democrats on what for those close to the process described as an exhausting and tormenting process to land a replacement for the suddenly departed Saudino.
What complicated the process was a little-known statute that requires a special election for sheriff if a resignation occurs outside a 37-day window, which was the case with Saudino, according to a ruling made public last week by Secretary of State Tahesha Way.
“This is a total s-t show,” one source said scornfully. “I don’t blame Lou [Stellato]. This is the governor’s office. They punted to us and look at us.”
Anyway it got done, maybe not to Kugler’s liking; ugly, but in the can.
“No one person’s bigger than the organization,” the chairman told Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco.
He took the podium.
“There were 532 votes cast. There were two votes discarded because they were blank, one vote for [former Sheriff] Leo McGuire, 111 votes for Robert Kugler and 418 for Anthony Cureton. Anthony Cureton is the winner,” Stellato declared.
Tedesco said he was happy with the result.
“I’m looking forward to a great partnership,” said the county executive, who’s on the ballot this year countywide.